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March 2006

Uncivil Defence:

Michael Jarrell has been online with his pro-freedom blog for less than six months, yet he's getting well-deserved attention for his informative, passionate posts. He covers national and international politics and news, as well as his local (Indiana) scene. None are particularly pretty, but Jarrell does it with style. Especially worth noting are his series of posts on what he calls a liberty jihad.

Site overview: Basic Blogger site, with few graphics. Posts are all focused on liberty in some way or other, and invariably contain several links for further exploration. If a post focuses on different stories, he helpfully provides subheadings that identifies a shift of subject. Atom feed available; open commenting is allowed. A hard-hitting freedom lover who also shares his enthusiasm for one of life's simple pleasures — a terrific find!

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The Science Creative Quarterly:

How can any nerd not be interested in a periodical with a masthead stating in which, with respect to our name, we are as confused as you are.? Jump in to whatever category interests you, and you're very likely to find something funny, poetic, thought-provoking, and of course, informative; although, as always, one should be a skeptical reader, because science, like politics, has room for views that are currently contrarian. And guys, I'm sure it's simply an unfortunate oversight that we girl-geeks can enjoy sciencey beefcake, while there's no section yet for cheesecake. [Kirsten, now that I have your attention, this one's for you.] Set up like a blog, with categories and RSS, but no commenting, it's a fun place to explore and learn.

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Billed as your place to buy and sell all things handmade, Etsy looks like a crafter's version of eBay. Anything that's handmade—including food items—can be listed and sold, with nominal fees charged by Etsy to list each item, and when an item sells. If you like the web the old-fashioned, text-based link style, click through the categories to look for something to catch your interest; if you're feeling more adventurous, search by color or the timeline for a trippy, unpredictable exploration. Etsy's feedback system will be familiar to eBayers; Etsy also offers a forum and blog. RSS feeds on every category make it easy to keep up with new items, too.

A newish site—not yet a year old, Etsy appears to still be working out some kinks, but I like the idea and am inspired by it. For freedom lovers, it looks like a great way to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, without the state's greedy fingers reaching in. If you don't see something to your liking, contacting a seller about doing some custom work is an option; or post your wish in the Alchemy section, and see what bids you get to create it. Gotta appreciate people who let the market work its magic!

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