Is Listening the new Reading?

>> 29 September 2009

Here's the question: Does listening to an audiobook count as reading the book?

I recently finished listening to an audiobook of Moby Dick, a book that I would probably would never have gotten around to in print (It's pretty long and there are a lot of other books on my list). Listening to it, however, was very pleasant. I downloaded the text from project Gutenberg and referred to it when necessary, but for the most part, I just listened. I want to know if I can honestly tell people that I have "read" Moby Dick.

On one hand, listening does not require the same concentration as reading (at least for me). I can't, for example, write an email while I'm reading a book. When I'm listening to something (music, audiobook, etc.) I can do simple tasks like write an email. I wonder, though, how different this is from reading in a distracting environment - maybe an airport, or on a subway - where you get to the end of a chapter with only a partial recollection of what you just read.

While listening to Moby Dick, I tuned out at certain points. In the novel, there are numerous and lengthy digressions in which the narrator, Ishmael, pontificates about the science of whales (cetology) and presents a lot of boring information that has been largely supplanted by modern science. I made little effort to listen to every word of these digressions. I ask if this is substantially different from the process of "skimming" book, wherein, we skip the boring stuff and get to the next point of interest. Is there a difference between skimming a book and zoning out of a boring passage of an audiobook?

I realize that there is probably no substitute for a rigorous reading of a novel, but as far as casual reading goes, is there a substantial difference between listening to an audiobook and reading the novel?

Cast your vote and share your rationale in the comments section:


Look What Happened To My e-Blog!

>> 17 September 2009

My e-blog got invaded by a pop culture icon!

[side note: I know this looks exactly like the sort of link that your virus-aware instincts are telling you not to click. While it is a 'viral meme' it is not a virus. I would not post a link to a virus on my e-blog. even as a joke.]

[double side note: That first 'side note' actually makes this seem sketchier.]


Caption Contest Winner

>> 13 September 2009

After an overwhelming response to last weeks Caption Contest, I am pleased to announce that our winner is...JAKE!

While his victory might seem to be 'easy' or even 'uncontested,' the truth is much more complicated. Perhaps, most people who would have ordinarily submitted a response were deterred when they saw who they were up against.

In any case, congratulations Jake. Your prize is this lovely commemorative widget - located on the right column - highlighting your accomplishment!


Caption Please?

>> 10 September 2009

Oh dear...
What is going on here? Share your captions for this monstrosity in the comments section. The author of the best caption gets a SPECIAL PRIZE!


A New Notebook

>> 06 September 2009

For years, I have been using Moleskine brand notebooks. Specifically, the Black Pocket Sized Ruled Journal. I like that they are portable, sturdy, and simple. The paper is high quality and holds ink well. I also liked the fact that they were relatively inexpensive. A few years ago, I bought a bunch of them for ~$5 a piece. Now I am on the last one of that batch, and I was looking to get some more. Unfortunately, the price has been raised to $12 each.
That means, that at 3.5 x 5.5 inches and 192 pages, the Moleskine pocket sized ruled journal costs 0.325 cents per square inch.

Enter the new contender: the Staples 3x5 Side Bound Memo Book. Although this notebook cannot compete with the fanciness of the Moleskine (Ernest Hemingway never carried one of these around in his jacket pocket) the price is much more reasonable. I've used these for various odds and ends, but never as my main notebooks. They certainly aren't as durable as the Moleskine, but the option to tear pages out is useful.At $4.49 for a pack of 5, 3x5 inches and 150 sheets per notebook, this baby comes in at 0.039 cents per square inch.

This question isn't an easy one. On one hand, I've enjoyed using Moleskine journals for years now. On the other, the Moleskine costs nearly ten times as much as the spiral bound notebook.

Help me make this decision! Leave you comments below.


I Like Turtles, Too

>> 04 September 2009

17 seconds of greatness:

Greatness explained:

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Do you like turtles?
  2. Rank the following animals in order of how much you like them: turtles, cats, dogs, gnats.
  3. What would be a good title for a movie about undead turtles?


The Best Thing I've Ever Said?

>> 01 September 2009

At Cookout, asking for a refill.

me: Can I have more Coke, please?
cashier: Yes. Will you take your top off for me?
me: How dare you!?
cashier: Ha!

It just slipped out of my mouth. Everyone in line laughed. I was king for a moment.


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