Morning links for 24 October 2013

Let’s see if I can keep up the pace from yesterday’s links post and write 750 words about something, inspired by what I’ve seen recently. I’m not promising to keep this up every day, but it’s a good way to clear my head of the need to surf the net endlessly for new morsels of interest.

Each time I favorite an item on Twitter, a corresponding bookmark gets added to my Pinboard account. This is a remarkably good way to keep track of things as they stream by.

Pinboard has extensive built-in support for Twitter. You can automatically add all links from your tweets and Twitter favorites as bookmarks, and store your tweets on the site for future reference.

Part of this was composed to movement 3 of Valdis Krebs’s soundscape Waves.

Concentrate has a feature on Scott Lankton, an Ann Arbor blacksmith. You’ll see his car (a VW with an anvil on the roof) around town.

Michigan is known for what it has been able to forge out of metal and steel. Scott Lankton takes that to a whole other level. As a master blacksmith he’s forged everything from a sword for the British Museum to hand-wrought railings for local clients. Concentrate’s Patrick Dunn chats with this local artisan about living and working in Ann Arbor.

The Ann Arbor Chronicle has old Y lot proposals from five developers who are looking to build on the site. The high bid, $5.25 million, is from Campus Inn hotel owner Dennis Dahlmann.

Chip Smith (@VoteChipSmith) is running for the Ann Arbor City Council’s Fifth Ward as a write-in. Chip is an urban planner, and he is running against CM Mike Anglin‘s recent voting record on civic issues.

The Twenty Pound Carp is running as a write-in candidate in the Fourth Ward.

The New York Times has a nice hypercard version of Healthcare.GOV illustrating an opinion piece by about that troubled web site.

The Wall Street Journal reports that FOIA laws are fueling hedge fund profits. Savvy investors are getting information from government records to help them make decisions before the information is widely known in the market. “One firm, FOI Services Inc., accounted for about 10% of the 50,000 information requests sent to the FDA during the period examined by the Journal.”

A review by The Wall Street Journal of more than 100,000 of the roughly three million FOIA requests filed over the past five years, including all of those sent to the FDA, shows that investors use the process to troll for all kinds of information. They ask the Environmental Protection Agency about pollution regulations, the Department of Energy about grants for energy-efficient vehicles, and the Securities and Exchange Commission about whether publicly held companies are under investigation. Such requests are perfectly legal.

Sam Kriss has a wonderful reading of the psychiatric diagnostic manual DSM-5, treating it as a dystopian novel. In the “Book of Lamentations”, he writes:

Something has gone terribly wrong in the world; we are living the wrong life, a life without any real fulfillment. The newly published DSM-5 is a classic dystopian novel in this mold.

It’s also not exactly a conventional novel. Its full title is an unwieldy mouthful: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The author (or authors) writes under the ungainly nom de plume of The American Psychiatric Association – although a list of enjoyably silly pseudonyms is provided inside (including Maritza Rubio-Stipec, Dan Blazer, and the superbly alliterative Susan Swedo). The thing itself is on the cumbersome side. Over two inches thick and with a thousand pages, it’s unlikely to find its way to many beaches. Not that this should deter anyone; within is a brilliantly realized satire, at turns luridly absurd, chillingly perceptive, and profoundly disturbing.

More tomorrow, I hope.


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