September 2003 Archives
Saludos, Salut, Hello!
Hello, everyone. I'm Ana and I just earned my official membership ;)
Here are some things about myself:
-I am 20 years old (21 on 2/1) and a college student: at the moment, you will find me out of college. I am taking a break, working some, reading some, going out some, and starting school in New York City in the spring.
-I am a Fine Arts major: perhaps concentrating on Painting, or Printmaking...Although I don't write often, I enjoy writing when I do and someday I want to write for a Visual Arts magazine and also go into Curating.
-I live in Miami-Dade county: I actually live in Hialeah, but if it makes anyone feel better about knowing where a place is, you can say that I live in Miami...
-I have my own little library: I've been packing lately and time came when I had to pack my books. I discovered that I had close to 100 books! It didn't look that way to me.
-No, I've not read ALL of them: I do like to collect old books, like the ones that libraries sell to get rid of. I prefer Fiction, and if it must be Non-Fiction, then I prefer the Social Sciences.
-(My book collection consists of almost all the categories that books go into in a library, including religion...)
-Things I love include: music, art (including film), the arts, literature, and dancing, oh! and ... I'm sure I'm forgetting something else.
-Favorite authors: Charles Dickens, Tennesee Williams (yea, yea, playwright, I know), Robert M. Pirsig, Gabriel García-Márquez, Rubén Darío, Pablo Neruda, among others (it's pretty hard to think with all my books packed up!, believe me, there are many more authors in the english language literature, but I really can't think right now. )
-Favorite novels: "Bright Lights Big City", "Zen and the Art of...", "The Little Prince", "Parable of the Sower", and yes, "Wuthering Heights" too! others included as well.
-Lastly, but not least: I am bilingual and with a little bit of a third language. I bet you can guess which languages I speak...(the middle one is the one that i practice but don't actually speak.)
Well, now on to read "The Diamond Age"
p.s.-I love short stories and plays!
With all of the hubbub over crashing our server, I completely forgot to mention that September 20-27, 2003, was banned books week. It turned out to be excellent timing for us to do Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone since J.K. Rowling was the most challenged author of 2002. (It was bad timing, though, for the server to crap out.) Other frequently challenged authors include: Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Stephen King, Lois Duncan, S.E. Hinton, Alvin Schwartz, Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Toni Morrison.
Do your part for freedom. Read a banned book today!
If you're reading this, BookBlog has successfully been moved to its new server. Thanks a bunch to Elena at HostMagik, the greatest hosting company in the world, for being so patient with us, and we promise to try to not do to this server what we did to the last one. :)
We're also able to accept comments once again. Please feel free to hop back into the discussion of Harry Potter. Woo!
Let the discussion begin
I trust everyone has finished this month's selection of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" so I will get right to it.
Harry Potter has lived a miserable life since his parents' death. Left to survive with his horrible aunt and uncle, the Dursleys, and their spoiled son Dudley, Harry has been forced to live in a closet under the stairs. But as his eleventh birthday approaches, all this is about to change. A mysterious letter arrives by owl messanger, inviting him to attend Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is astonished to learn the truth about his parents — that they were wizards of the highest renown — and that he is destined to become one too. At Hogwarts, Harry finds friends and becomes an expert in Quidditch, an aerial sport played on broomsticks. But soon he becomes involved in a life-threatening struggle against the forces of darkness, and finds himself fighting for survival against those who would rather see him dead before he can come into his full powers.
Much of what is classified as high fantasy has as its central theme the classic struggle of good over evil. In this book, the suspense is also built by the fact that the evil of Voldemort and his followers is a tricky enemy to defeat, because much is hidden from plain sight. Harry and his friends, then, are left with a mystery to puzzle out before they can begin to understand and confront, let alone defeat, the enemy. Their task is made even more difficult as they cannot convince their superiors of the impending danger. The young heroes have to face their greatest challenges without any support from adults until the last few pages.
Did you like this book? What made this book exciting for you?
New and Improved!
Thanks to a lot of input and new algorithms from Shlomo Koppel and Moshe Argamon, the researchers who inspired our successful program, an updated version of The Gender Genie was launched today. Its features include unique scoring based on genre of text entered and more detailed statistics. So far, it has a better accuracy rate than the previous version and does very well when texts of all genres consist of more than 500 words.
I hope everyone has as much fun playing with it as I have had building it.
BookBlog in the NYT.
BookBlog -- and The Gender Genie -- have been mentioned in the New York Times. The mention comes in a Circuits column's summary of The Gender Genie.
Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell writes that "some cheeky members of an online book discussion site, BookBlog, turned the algorithm into a Web application called Gender Genie...." She also interviews Mary and mentions the ongoing improvements to the Genie.
So, congrats to all involved, especially to Mary who created this place for us to hang out more than a year ago. And, welcome to the NYTs readers who've come to see what we're all about.
BookBlog in the News
Many thanks to Pam O'Connell who made the Gender Genie the lead item in her New York Times column, Online Diary. We're famous!
Since the article was written, our numbers have changed a bit. Thanks to mentions on several high traffic web sites (addictinggames.com, bluesnews.com, and metafilter.com), the genie has analyzed more than 390,000 documents submitted by over 200,000 unique users. Welcome to everyone who has stopped by to try it out.
It's also true as mentioned in the article that I have been working with Koppel and Argamon to improve the genie. The version which had been printed in The New York Times Magazine was a "toy" for readers like us to play with. The actual algorithm is quite complicated, but they have sent me a simplified yet web-friendly formula to help improve the genie's accuracy.
Stay tuned since the update is to be released very soon.
Hi, I'm Misty. Newest Newbie. I thought I should introduce myself. I'm 28, the mother of 2 1/2 (the half being my ex-step child that I still try to see). I have a dog (blitz) and cat (abra). I work full time as a Certified health rep. for a disease management company. In my spare time (as if!) I enjoy being crazy and silly with my kids and collecting books (no, I haven't read them all, but they're there if I need them). I read everything I can get my hands on but I particularly love dictionaries. Right now I am reading Raising Self-Reliant Children In A Self-Indulgent World and The Body Artist by Don Delillo. In my CD player is The Swinging Utters and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
I'm looking forward to sharing many books with you all.
Calling all Muggles
I am so excited about this month's selection of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I am looking forward to discussing it with everyone. Enjoy!