Archive for July, 2007

Links for 2007-07-29

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Blogathon 2007 is on right now

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Hundreds of blogs are being updated every half hour right now as part of Blogathon 2007. I recommend checking out these sites, their authors are working hard not only to bring you interesting content, but also to raise money for various important charities. There is a list of participating blogs here. The topics vary with some blogs focusing on a theme while others blogging in a more freestyle manner. There’s a blog looking at names from children’s literature and collecting donations for First Book, which disseminates books to children from underprivileged backgrounds. (Another participating blog collecting for this charity is Potterthon, perhaps of interest to some here.) This Book is For You is collecting donations for the American Library Association Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund and looking at related topics throughout the 24 hour period. A la cuisine is posting some very intriguing recipes (with pics) and collecting funds for the National Kidney Foundation in honor of the author’s good friend who just received a kidney transplant three days ago. Some people are running contests such as this man in Texas blogging from atop a forklift. His charity is Midland Fair Havens, which offers support to women with pre-teen children who are homeless or who are in danger of becoming homeless. The contests at hello, Yoshi! have readers/listeners guessing movie quotes (with the possibility of winning prizes). The choice of charity there is Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I could go on and on, there are lots of dedicated folks participating in this today.

I took part in Blogathon four years ago and it was a fun unique experience. If I wasn’t in the midst of moving and travelling right now I would have posted a note earlier about all this to encourage more people to participate. When I did it in 2003, I decided to do it in the grad student computer cluster in the Princeton Soc Dept so people could stop by easily and say hi. Over a dozen friends kept me company (and brought me food!) throughout the event. And I got to raise some money for Planned Parenthood from forty generous contributors.

It’s not that easy to stay up for 24 hours straight and blog in a coherent manner. Putting up a post every half hour means constant work. So show some of these folks some appreciation by reading their blogs and if inspired, consider donating to some of these very worthy charities.

Links for 2007-07-26

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Links for 2007-07-24

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Links for 2007-07-23

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Funny with a serious twist

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Chris Uggen posted this video a few days ago:

I added a link to it on my daily links list where Liz Losh saw it and then included it in a blog post “Just Say Know” discussing all sorts of parody videos and sites related to drug use including the artist-created fictional drug Web site Havidol, and this video:

These are some great parodies. Work in the field of health communication looks at the effects of health campaigns, but tends to focus on serious ones. I wonder what type of work may be going on in the domain of parody viral videos online for similar purposes.

Links for 2007-07-22

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Links for 2007-07-20

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Worst job ever?

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Unclear why exactly:), Michael Froomkin asks the question:

What would be the most unattractive job in the regular economy? I’m not talking about the objectively least-well paid or statistically most dangerous, or most unpopular (car salesman?). I mean, what job would you least like to have. No fair saying subsistence farmer in Darfur either — I mean in the US (or other developed economy).

His response: toll booth attendant.

As I note in the comments to his post, I won’t answer, because I prefer to think about aspects of jobs I like. His post reminded me, however, of having heard once that toll booth operators have the highest suicide rate among various occupations. I decided it was time to check on this. There doesn’t seem to be much out there to support the claim. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of methodological challenges to studying the relationship between occupations and suicide rates. This piece does a good job of mentioning several of them from lack of occupational information on death certificates to numbers being too small by category for comparison. From what I’ve read after a quick search, it’s fair to say the rumors I have heard about the above relationship are pretty much unsubstantiated.

Long before becoming a card-carrying sociologist, I was interested in suicide rates.* This may have had to do with the fact that I grew up in a country with one of the highest rates of suicide. According to 2003 figures, Hungary is #6 on the list (interesting group – bottom right corner when you click through), but in the 1980s when I was growing up there, it may have been #1 judging from the figures for the other countries high on the list since some of their rates seem to have gone up while Hungary’s declined considerably [pdf] in the last couple of decades. I doubt there are many Hungarians who don’t know of people in their immediate circles who either committed or at least attempted suicide (I knew several before graduating from high school), but perhaps this is true elsewhere, too.

All of which is obviously not to say that worst job ever equals suicide. It’s just a connection I made after reading about Michael’s candidate for the distinction.

[*] Yeah, yeah, maybe I became a sociologist, because I find questios of this sort intriguing.

Links for 2007-07-19

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Links for 2007-07-18

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Book title bleg

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

The edited volume on research methods that I mentioned earlier is shaping up nicely and I’ll be shipping it off soon. However, I’m still not sure about the title and subtitle, and was hoping for some input from anyone who’s willing to give it some thought. This is what I’m working with now:

Research Methods from the Trenches:
The Nitty-Gritty of Empirical Social Science Research

However, having “research” in there twice doesn’t seem right. Any thoughts on either the first or the second part?

As a reminder, the chapters in this book provide helpful behind-the-scenes accounts of doing empirical social science research for a wide range of methods such as use of secondary large-scale data sets, interviews, observations, experiments and historical documents. The unique contribution of this collection is that it provides readers with a realistic idea of what to expect when embarking on empirical investigations by offering richly detailed descriptions of the logistics of individual research projects. The volume draws on the experiences of recent successful dissertation writers and young scholars doing cutting edge research in their respective social scientific fields.

If someone comes up with a title I end up using, I’ll happily send the person a copy of the book and will think of some additional gesture of gratitude. (Time to create some E-Blog stuff? Maybe I can think of something more useful.:) Thanks!

Links for 2007-07-17

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Links for 2007-07-16

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Random thought: if you wanted someone to take care of your pet, wouldn’t you pay for food up front?

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Sometimes I get a kick out of reading classifieds and so have been clicking through to some of the Marketplace ads on Facebook. I just read one where the advertiser is looking for a catsitter and ends the ad with the following:

“I’ll pay for the service, as well as litter and food on return.”

I may be reading this incorrectly, but it seems to suggest that the owner of the pet is asking the catsitter to pay for litter and food out of pocket (for three weeks) before being reimbursed, not to mention the burden of acquiring those materials. Is that reasonable? Doesn’t seem right to me. I’d leave the anticipated amount of litter and food before I left.

Links for 2007-07-15

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Links for 2007-07-14

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Links for 2007-07-13

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Speaking at Wiki Wednesday this evening

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

For those in the Bay Area, I thought I’d mention that I’ll be giving a talk at Wiki Wednesday this evening at 6pm. The topic is digital media use by youth. Feel free to come by. Also, feel free to join the group at other times in the future, these meetings are held every month.

Links for 2007-07-10

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007