odds n’ sods

Leave it to my son to come up with a devastating name for the dominant style of reporting on cable news channels. It’s horrifying and perfect: “big box journalism.”

From the Volokh Conspiracy, a concise primer on everything you don’t know about the Miranda warning. Context: the government’s decision to question the surviving Boston Marathon (alleged) bomber without reading him his Miranda rights.

By way of The Dish, a Scientific American article on the pitfalls of e-reading. I’ve switched to reading as little as I can on paper, and can attest that etext is not a perfect replacement. As the article suggests, it’s best for things you want to read straight through, like a novel. It’s weakest at things that rely on serendipity, like a favorite book of mine, The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of The Music In The 1001 Best Albums. The book is arranged chronologically, but you don’t get enough of a clue about where you are on the timeline by moving the scroll bar. You have to move and then look as two separate acts, (and depending on the size of the machine you’re reading on, you may have to jump ahead or back a few pages to be sure).

Contrast that to a paper book, in which opening it is just about the same thing as looking. Browsing is more seamless.

Speaking of jazz and serendipity, at the used record store in Syracuse Saturday,  a pristine copy of Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944  for $19.95. Given that the cheapest you can find it used on Amazon is close to $40, this was a great price. With store credit, I paid a little under $9. This is the set of 2001 remasters from which the two cd set I wrote about here is derived, and which I fully expect to listen to with devotion for the rest of my life.



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