Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Carnival of the Vanities #179

Welcome to the 179th Carnival of the Vanities! This is the forum where good bloggers share their best posts, and where we all have the opportunity to learn about blogs we have not yet visited, or to revisit blogs we have not read in some time. At its best, the Carnival of the Vanities showcases great blog writing from a variety of different subjects and across the ideological spectrum.

While you are here, please stop and take a look around. I have a list of my better posts on the left sidebar. Those should give a pretty good idea of what A DC Birding Blog is about. If you like what you see, I hope that you will come back and visit again.

Next week's edition of the Carnival of the Vanities will be hosted at The Cigar Intelligence Agency. Send entries via the carnival submission forms at Blog Carnival or Conservative Cat. Remember, submissions to this carnival should be quality posts on any topic. Hosts for future weeks are still needed. If you are interested in hosting the Carnival of the Vanities, send an email to zeuswood -at- harshlymellow -dot- com.

Finally, thanks to Zeuswood of Harshly Mellow for keeping the Carnival of the Vanities running and for letting me host this edition.

And now, on to the carnival...

Editor's Pick
The lives of women in the premodern world are frequently difficult to study since women show up in the historical record far less than men. One place they do appear is in court records. Natalie Bennett of Philobiblon analyzed such records to study The Women Burglars of the Old Bailey Online, a story of high crime in seventeenth-century England.

Editor's Pick
On Sunday, February 12, scientists and laypeople interested in natural history celebrated Charles Darwin's birthday. Many bloggers honored the occasion with posts on evolution. One such post was Mike's post at 10,000 Birds on Avians, Indonesia, and Evolution, which discusses speciation in the light of recent discoveries in Indonesia.

Editor's Pick
Stephen Littau of Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds highlights The Plight of Cory Maye. Cory Maye shot and killed a police officer during a drug-related raid on his home; Maye claimed at his trial that the police never announced the raid and that he thought they were burglars. Many organizations on the right and left are protesting his subsequent death sentence.

Editor's Pick
David Harrison of The Global Perspective presents us with a pro-Google argument in Change in China. Contra many commentators, he argues that Google's entering of the Chinese marketplace will be good for democracy and freedom of expression there, even if they enter it under restrictions.

Editor's Pick
Wayne Hurlbert at Blog Business World argues that sharing knowledge and ideas is a key to business success in Information Sharing: Helping Others Succeed.

Natural History
While robins are often cited as a sign of spring, many people do not seem to realize that robins do, in fact, overwinter through much of the United States. Nuthatch of Bootstrap Analysis fills us in on the winter range of Robins in the Snow.

Home Bird Notes explores the interaction among birding, economics, conservation, and education in an essay entitled A Little Good News. The post cites recent articles suggesting that birding - and therefore conservation - can be good for local economies and that active interest in the natural world has a measurable effect on children's education.

Cindy of Woodsong tackles the issue of how far to go in baiting animals for the purpose of nature photography in A Question of Ethics - Baiting Irruptive Owls, an issue that arose last winter when large numbers of great gray owls appeared in Minnesota. (The post includes the stated guidelines of the North American Nature Photographers Association and American Birding Association.)

See my Birds and St. Valentine's Day for musings on how romance came to be associated with an obscure Christian martyr.

Personal Stories
Batya at Shiloh Musings remembers a scary incident in a commercial airliner during the first Gulf War in El Al Security.

Suldog-O-Rama tells a Valentine's Day story about his First Kiss - in the fourth grade.

Jack's Shack of Random Thoughts wonders about the life and death of A Boy Named Mookie.

Muse of me-ander tells of her visit to the eye doctor in Baile Rochel can't remember, exactly.

Raising kids is not an experience that I have had, but I imagine it is not easy. Mom, at, has plenty of experience with child-rearing, and tells us about her middle boys' chronic ear infections in Otitis Media, Ear Tubes, and a Wet Brain.

BPG of Big Picture, Small Office tells of his shock to learn that a trusted sales rep was forging documents in Full of Craft.

The Winter Olympics remind Elisson of his rides on the Ski-Cycle of Death in Winter Olympics on the Cheap (with pictures!).

Economy and Finance
Anyone looking to buy a house right now - especially in urban centers like Washington, DC - knows that prices are sky-high. Dan Melson of Searchlight Crusade looks at the causes of this in Fear and Greed, or How Did The Housing Bubble Get So Big?.

The Hip and Zen Pen proposes a social experiment in which a corporation's "conscience" - in terms of pay equity, providing health insurance, and commitment to fair trade - is made a part of its public statement to make it easier for clients and consumers to adjust investments and spending habits according to a company's behavior. Read Interesting Articles on Doing Business and Doing Good for more.

One factor affecting the home realty business is the introduction of new websites that put more information into the hands of consumers. David Porter of Pacesetter Mortgage Blog argues that this is a good thing in Are Realtors Going to Become Extinct?

Centrerion believes that Trade Deficits and Surpluses Are Ridiculous and Outdated as means to measure overall economic health. Americans had better hope this is correct.

What makes for a good marriage? Free Money Finance notes a survey indicating Good Money Skills More Important Than Sex. (Of course, faithfulness and honesty rate more highly that either of them.)

Nickel wants to know more about your money habits, and offers the first in a series of polls to that effect: Money Poll #1: Budgeting.

Sophistpundit examines Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and offers Gladwell's "laws" as deserving of further study in The Starting Point.

Josh Cohen of Multiple Mentality gives us his take on a proposed airship in Sacrificing Luxury for Economy. If the Airbus A380 is any precedent, any future airships are likely to be packed full of seats, and not have the luxurious interiors featured in advertisements.

Doug at Below the Beltway argues that society needs to pay more attention to the threat of ovarian cancer in It's About Time.

The DesertLight Journal discusses the recent attention to the blogosphere's "long tail" - the many blogs that never reach a significant audience - in What's Next - Aid to Dependent Bloggers?

The Doctor asks "How Do You Use Your Blogroll?" and discusses the difference between people with a short blogroll and people with a long one.

The skwib asks "What is the right amoung of blogging?" and General Kang answers.

Joshua of Quibbles and Bits tells the fairy tale of A Dragon's Tear.

Grill Maestro instructs us on Checking Doneness by Touch Method, a method used for cooking steaks in restaurants.

Sick of high medical bills? Blueprint for Financial Prosperity offers three steps to make sure you are not being overcharged by hospitals or other providers in Fight Big Businesses: Hospital Billing Errors or Insurance Claims.

Steve Pavlina advises his readers to stop making Feeble Excuses, such as not having time or money, and take the steps they need to reach their desired goals.

Kirby on Finance uses game theory to answer the question, Should I Put the Toilet Seat Down?

The Headmistress of The Common Room - a homeschooling blog - expresses her love of reading and asks Are You Reading Effectively?

Jack Yoest asks Who Are You and Why Should I Care? in discussing the role of personal relationships in referrals.

Current Events
Jack Kluth of The People's Republic of Seabrook hesitates about the trend toward hybrid vehicles in I'm Still Afraid It's Going To Have All The Power Of A Riding Lawnmower.

Dick Cheney has been the subject of much discussion and parody since his hunting accident two weeks ago. MadKane joins the fray with a song parody called "Faking Contrition" (set to "Waltzing Matilda").

Brian J. Noggle reports: Eureka, Missouri, Eminent Domains Neighboring Town.

Iraq and the Middle East
Mensa Barbie informs us of positive Accomplishments in Iraq under U.S. occupation, especially the rebuilding of water supply infrastructure that had deteriorated under Saddam Hussein's regime.

Barak of IRIS Blog questions the accuracy of a recent announcement by Israel's Prime Minister Olmert that Israel would cease payments to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of Hamas's victory. See Hamas: "We'll nuke you" Israel: "We'll keep paying you"

Dodgeblogium asks "Why the 'new' accusations of abuse?" and ascribes sinister motives to the release of a video showing abuse of Iraqi teenagers by coalition soldiers and new photographs of the horrors at Abu Ghraib.

Bob at Either Orr blames militant Muslims for the outbreak of violence regarding the Danish cartoons in A Clash of Visions.

In This Idiocy is Itching for a Fisking, LeatherPenguin takes apart a column written by Jehan Sadat (wife of the late Anwar Sadat) calling for a ban on religiously offensive cartoons.

Obi-Wan of Forward Biased appears to call for an American attack on Iran in "Something Wicked This Way Comes." (No mention, though, of how this will be achieved under current circumstances.)

ChrisCam complains about the recent U.N. report on the treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Pot Calls Kettle Black, Kettle Punches Pot. (Warning: Includes graphic images.)

The relative powers of our three main branches of government has been a matter of controversy from the day the Constitution was signed. Coyote Blog complains that all three branches are currently violating the Separation of Powers - and not doing anything to check the other two.

Barry Welford of BPWrap argues that the internet is a fundamentally different form of communication from the older forms of newspapers and television in Human Nature Abhors a Vacuum; politicians ignore this to their peril. (Totally unrelated note: the title reminds me of an old Mother Goose and Grimm cartoon.)

TMH's Bacon Bits complains about strikes by government employees in Public Servants Indeed and calls for severe treatment of striking unions.

The Right Place imagines liberal outrage (or perhaps media reaction?) in Long Feared "Bush Purge" Now Underway.

Guy at The Cigar Intelligence Agency uses Two Cartoons to say there is a difference between political cartoons about the military thirty years ago and the ones today. Do you agree? Visit the link to find out.

The Radical Libertarian argues that there is no basis for bans on smoking in public places in The Assault Against Smoking.

Chanik Hocker reviews Natan Sharansky's The Case for Democracy and applies it to current U.S. policy in Book Review: The Case for Democracy.

Carnival of the Vanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival.