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September 2005

The Time Sink:

Another pro-freedom chap succumbs to the allure of blogging! This time it's Scott Bieser, and while he may be new at blogging, he's already going at it like a seasoned veteran. It's enjoyable to hear the voice behind all those terrific cartoons. Thus far Scott's been living up to his billing as "libertarian pain in the ass", snarking about the NRA and other institutional incompetence in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; but he also reminds us of the soon-to-be-savored movie Serenity.

Site overview: Blogger site with clean design; no graphics in the design leaves lots of bandwidth for Bieser's cartoons, which I hope he'll feature. A new blog, so it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to keep at it as regularly as he has thus far. RSS (Atom) feed and commenting both available.

[Note from Tom Ender: Scott has moved his blog from blogspot to bigheadpress.com and switched to Word Press. Though his blog has a new layout it still has a crisp design and snappy performance.]

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The Home Winery:

Fellow freedom blogger Ian Scott also keeps a blog devoted to a favorite hobby, winemaking. Entries range from short and straightforward to more detailed information, often describing various steps in the vintning process or musing about them. They usually include helpful links as well. Sovereign individuals have long recognized the advantages of escaping the sin taxes heaped upon alcoholic beverages; nowadays, with the ever-present corporate eye (oh-so-helpfully in the lap of the state, usually) keeping track of what a person buys, how much, and how often, keeping one's fermented preferences private is another advantage to going the do-it-yourself route.

Site overview: Pretty WordPress-powered blog. Nice but small graphical header keeps downloads generally fast, except when Ian posts pictures or diagrams, which happens from time to time. Regular entries make it easy to track the time frame for making a batch of wine, and the information is easily understood by beginners, yet offers help for more experienced vintners too. Comments and search capability are very helpful tools, as is the organization of posts into categories. All in all a very nicely done blog for those interested in winemaking.

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Language Log:

I found this gem courtesy of Billy Beck. A group blog for several linguists, it's more amusing than one might think. Highlights include a linguistic exploration of "tighty-whities", a terrific drubbing of copy editors, and more on "the butt-crack of dawn" than most normal folk want to know. If you're interested in words -- formal and informal usages -- this is a fun and informative place to visit.

Site overview: Simple Movable Type blog. Graphics are essentially nonexistent unless they're in a blog post. Judicious tucking of longer entries behind the "Continue reading" link makes it easy to scan the home page. Searching is available, as is an RSS feed. Comments are enabled only on specific posts, apparently on the author's whim; they don't happen often enough. If you love words and the evolution of languages, you'll enjoy Language Log.

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Sunlight Direct:

Are you dreading the annual winter slide into doldrums? Wishing for more natural, realistic light, or better solar collectors? Maybe Sunlight Direct can help. Not today, though; this company's still developing its technology for collecting and bringing sunlight indoors, in various forms, via optical fibers. But it seems a good idea to keep an eye on alternative energy sources like this one, and investing in them if possible. The idea sure is intriguing: off-the-grid lighting for a wide variety of applications, and natural light at that. Sparse site at present, but with a decent amount of information for a startup. Erratic updates (mostly to the media page) make a bookmark an excellent idea to help one remember to check in.

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The Price of Liberty: Commentary on news and issues of interest to freedom-lovers

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