Plagiat of Harvard

Grrr! Plagiarism Just Another Symptom of Me, Me, Me

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
By Mike Straka

The recent plagiarism scandal surrounding Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan’s book is yet another symptom of the “me, me, me” mentality that too many young people have adopted as religion.

Viswanathan has been under fire since the Harvard Crimson newspaper reported similarities between her book, “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,” (Little, Brown) and Megan McCafferty’s “Sloppy Firsts” and “Second Helpings” (Crown Publishing).

All three novels are aimed at young adults.

Viswanathan appeared on the “Today” show and stated that the similarities were unintentional, saying “When I was writing, I genuinely believed each word was my own.”

Crown publisher Steve Ross said in a statement that the apology was “troubling and disingenuous.”

That is an understatement.

You see, apparently it wasn’t good enough that Viswanathan received a reported $500,000 advance for two books from her publisher, and a movie deal with Dreamworks for her tome. It’s not enough that she attends Harvard, one of this country’s most prestigious universities. It wasn’t enough for her to be considered by many as some kind of literary prodigy.

What now? Will the 19-year-old say that the pressure to live up to such early success caused her to plagiarize another author? Probably. She has already shifted blame to her subconscious, saying on “Today” that when she read McCafferty’s books in high school, they “spoke to me in a way that few others had.”

Never mind that she told the Newark Star Ledger in a recent interview that “nothing I read gave me the inspiration.”

I guess it’s McCafferty’s own fault that her novels were plagiarized. After all, if her words hadn’t spoken to Viswanathan so profoundly, she might not have been ripped off.

But this is just another example of how people these days are only concerned about looking good, instead of being good.

It looked good for Ashlee Simpson to be a pop singer on MTV, but when it came to a live performance on “Saturday Night Live,” she had to fake it by using a backup voice track. After the track was played in a snafu, first she blamed the band and then she blamed acid reflux.

Author James Frey of “A Million Little Pieces” infamy didn’t plagiarize, he just made stuff up.

Frey must have taken a page out of the Jayson Blair Style Guide. He of New York Times infamy made up descriptions of places he’d never seen in order to file some of the paper’s front page domestic news stories — from his apartment.

What is really sad about this situation is that Viswanathan will get to keep the money she’s made from her book. She’ll get to keep the money from Dreamworks whether they make the movie or not, and most likely they will, since the project has a built-in publicity machine now.

And why not?

After all, Ashlee Simpson keeps “singing,” “A Million Little Pieces” keeps selling, Barry Bonds keeps hitting home runs despite being clouded in a steroids controversy, Paris Hilton became a household name after a sex tape was plastered all over the Internet, Pete Rose never admitted he gambled on baseball until he had a book to sell, President Clinton “did not have sexual relations with that woman,” “Lost” star Michelle Rodriguez chooses five days in jail over 200 hours of community service for her DUI conviction, Jayson Blair got a book deal after he was fired, and, and, and.

Viswanathan will learn a lesson from this, but the lesson she’ll learn is any publicity is good publicity, and the more controversy surrounding her, the more money she’ll make.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193253,00.html

 

see through our tongues!

Tongue wars: superwarrior will lick ’em

April 24, 2006 – 5:31PM

In their quest to create the superwarrior of the future, some military researchers aren’t focusing on organs like muscles or hearts. They’re looking at tongues.

By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.

Researchers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition envision their work giving Army Rangers 360-degree unobstructed vision at night and allowing Navy SEALs to sense sonar in their heads while maintaining normal vision underwater – turning sci-fi into reality.

The device, known as “Brain Port,” was pioneered more than 30 years ago by Dr Paul Bach-y-Rita, a University of Wisconsin neuroscientist.

Bach-y-Rita began routing images from a camera through electrodes taped to people’s backs and later discovered the tongue was a superior transmitter.

A narrow strip of red plastic connects the Brain Port to the tongue, where 144 microelectrodes transmit information through nerve fibres to the brain. Instead of holding and looking at compasses and bulky hand-held sonar devices, the divers can processes the information through their tongues, said Dr Anil Raj, the project’s lead scientist.

In testing, blind people found doorways, noticed people walking in front of them and caught balls. A version of the device, expected to be commercially marketed soon, has restored balance to those whose vestibular systems in the inner ear were destroyed by antibiotics.

Michael Zinszer, a veteran Navy diver and director of Florida State University’s Underwater Crime Scene Investigation School, took part in testing using the tongue to transmit an electronic compass and an electronic depth sensor while in a swimming pool.

“You are feeling the outline of this image,” he said. “I was in the pool, they were directing me to a very small object and I was able to locate everything very easily.”

Underwater crime scene investigators might use the device to identify search patterns, signal each other and “see through our tongues, as odd as that sounds,” Zinszer said.

Raj said the objective for the military is to keep Navy divers’ hands and eyes free.

“It will free up their eyes to do what those guys really want to, which is to look for those mines and see shapes that are coming out of the murk,” he said.

Sonar is the next step. A lot depends on technological developments to make sonar smaller – hand-held sonar is now about the size of a lunch box.

“If they could get it small enough, it could be mounted on a helmet, then they could pan around on their heads and they could feel the sonar on their tongues with good registration to what they are seeing visually,” Raj said.

AP

AKTE KELAHIRAN? RP 5000 SAJA

Akta Kelahiran

http://www.kependudukancapil.go.id/index.php?content:read&o=produk_akta_lahir

Lokasi Pelayanan : Suku Dinas Kependudukan dan Catatan
                              Sipil Kotamadya

Waktu Pelayanan : 1 hari kerja 

Tarif : Rp. 5.000

Akta Kelahiran adalah Akta Catatan Sipil hasil pencatatan peristiwa kelahiran seseorang.

Blangko Akta Kelahiran

Blangko Kutipan Akta Kelahiran

Persyaratan

Sangat disarankan mengurus akta kelahiran sesegera mungkin setelah bayi dilahirkan. Adapun persyaratan untuk membuat akta kelahiran adalah sebagai berikut :

  • Surat Keterangan kelahiran dari Rumah Sakit / Dokter / Bidan / Pilot / Nakhoda
  • Surat Tanda Bukti Perkawinan Orang Tua
  • Surat Keterangan Kelahiran dari Lurah
  • Fotocopy Kartu Keluarga / Kartu Tanda Penduduk yang dilegalisir Lurah

Jenis Akta Kelahiran

Akta kelahiran digolongkan menurut jarak waktu pelaporan dengan kelahiran. Ada 3 jenis akta kelahiran, yaitu :

  • Akta Kelahiran Umum Akta kelahiran yang dibuat berdasarkan laporan kelahiran yang disampaikan dalam batas waktu selambat-lambatnya 60 (enam puluh) hari kerja bagi WNI dan 10 (sepuluh) hari kerja bagi WNA sejak tanggal kelahiran bayi.
  • Akta Kelahiran Istimewa Akta Kelahiran yang dibuat berdasarkan laporan kelahiran yang telah melampaui batas waktu 60 (enam puluh) hari kerja bagi WNI dan 10 (sepuluh) hari kerja bagi WNA sejak tanggal kelahiran bayi.
  • Akta Kelahiran Dispensasi Akta Kelahiran yang dibuat berdasarkan Program Pemerintah untuk memberikan kemudahan bagi mereka yang lahir sampai dengan tanggal 31 Desember 1985 dan terlambat pendaftaran / pencatatan kelahirannya.

Donald Trump’s Career Tips

Disadur dari majalah Hers Magazine

Menurut Trump, cara untuk mencapai posisi puncak adalah belajar dari kesalahan – baik dari diri sendiri mauoun orang lain. “Belajarlah dari orang-orang di sekeliling Anda. Tak ada alasan untuk melakukan kesalahan yang sama, yang diperbuat oleh orang-orang.” paparnya. Berikut adalah beberapa palajaran yang diambil oleh Trump dari orang lain, yang juga ada dalam buku terbarunya, The Way to The Top – The Best Business Advice I Ever Received.

  • Turuti Kata Hati
    Jangan hanya bekerja demi uang. Cobalah mencintai pekerjaan yang kita lakukan dan ikuti kata hati yang akan mengarahkan kita ke jalan yang benar.
  • “Matahari Tak Bersinar Selamanya”
    Saat berada di posisi atas, selalulah “melihat” ke bawah. Sebab, tak selamanya kira berada di posisi yang menyenangkan. Akan ada saat-saat sulit, dan inilah kunci bagi kita dalam mengatasi masalah yang datang dan berusaha bertahan. Karena itu, simpan dan perbarui selalu resume dan pelihara terus network Anda. Siapa tahu Anda membutuhkannya kelak?
  • “Selidiki” Bos-bos Anda di Masa Mendatang
    Saat mendapatkan tawaran pekerjaan baru, daripada mencari tahu seberapa besar gaji yang didapat dan apa jabatan yang ditawarkan, lebih baik carilah jawaban atas pertanyaan-pertanyaan berikut:
    1. Kepada siapa saya akan melaporkan hasil kerja saya, dan bisakah dia mengajarkan sesuatu kepada saya?
    2. Sejauh mana dia diterima di dalam organisasai itu? Sejauh mana sikap dan tingkah laku atasan Anda itu berpengaruh pada Anda?
  • Jangan Mengkhawatirkan Hal-hal Yang tidak Bisa Dikendalikan
    Lebih baik fokuslah pada apa yang bisa Anda lakukan. Jika Anda telah melakukan semua hal yang memang mungkin dilakukan, namun situasinya tidak berjalan sesuai keinginan, biarkan saja dan cobalah melakukan hal-hal lain yang memang bisa Anda lakukan.
  • Belajar “Mendengar” Dengan Baik
    Manfaatkanlah obrolan Anda untuk mencari informasi penting, dan praktekkan itu semua secara spontan untuk tugas-tugas yang Anda lakukan.

Indonesia’s Skin Wars

A proposed law against pornography worries moderates and minorities in Indonesia  


DITA ALANGKARA / AP
“PORNOAKSI?”: Under the proposed legislation, foreign beachgoers could be forced to cover up or stay at home
 

Monday, Apr. 03, 2006
The black bra under the thin yellow kebaya, a close-fitting blouse, leaves little to the imagination. Even more suggestive are the flittering eyes and gyrating hips of the dancer, who chases young men to pull them up on stage. One accepts the offer and makes a grab for her large posterior as she beckons with welcoming eyes. Another makes a gesture at her breasts and then stuffs cash into her hands.

This is not a lap dance in Las Vegas, but a revered Balinese custom known as the joged bumbung, or bamboo dance. Yet it is one of hundreds of traditions across the Indonesian archipelago that could be banned under legislation being deliberated by the national parliament. The bill, which is supported by several Muslim parties, would render illegal any behavior or images that might be considered sexually provocative. Women who bare their shoulders or legs, or artists who use nudity in their work, could be prosecuted for indecency and fined up to 2 billion rupiah (about $220,000) or even jailed for up to 12 years. Kissing in public would be outlawed, as would any other acts considered pornoaksi, an ill-defined term coined by conservative lawmakers to mean “pornographic acts.” The bill also says that “all elements of society are obliged to report” such acts, sparking concern that the law could be abused. “The bill would kill 80% of the art in Bali,” says Cok Sawitri, a Balinese poet and activist who is against the proposed law. “People will be afraid to do what has long been a normal part of their lives.”

Since the fall of strongman Suharto in 1998, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has become a more open society, with a freer press and more vigorous political discourse. But the new liberalism has also seen a proliferation of sex videos, magazines and tabloids widely available to anyone who can afford them (the average price of a VCD is 5,000 rupiah, or about 55¢). Racy programs are aired on late-night television, and one daytime soap even featured an episode in which schoolchildren watched porn videos in a group, then disappeared in pairs soon after. And the first issue of an Indonesian edition—albeit seminude—of Playboy magazine is scheduled to be published on April 7. All this has sparked a backlash from Indonesians worried about the country’s moral direction. “The availability of pornography has reached alarming levels,” says Juniwati Masjchun Sofwan, head of the Committee to Eradicate Pornography, an independent lobbying group. “It has become a social disease.” But critics of the proposed law say that it is an imperfect antidote. Says Bambang Harymurti, chief editor of Tempo, a newsmagazine that has covered the issue in depth: “The problem is not that we don’t have any laws but rather their enforcement. The bill allows anyone to enforce the law, not just the police.”

Take the case of Isabel Yahya, who posed for a photomontage by Indonesian artist Davy Linggar in September. In the painting, the model, 30, is discreetly nude. An angry mob from the Islamic Defenders Front, a vigilante group known for attacking bars and discos, demanded that the work, on display at an indoor exhibition in Jakarta, be taken down and complained to the police. The authorities have charged Yahya with indecency under the criminal code; she faces a potential one year in prison, but the alleged offense would be punishable by up to seven years’ jail under the new pornography law. “This is just another way for certain groups to extort money,” says Yahya. “It’s not about morality.” Others accuse legislators of trying to push through an Islamization program veiled as a campaign against nudity and lewd behavior. “The bill is the beginning of a Shari’a agenda to keep women inside,” warns Harymurti, who is Muslim. Adds an even more alarmed Leo Batubara, a member of the Indonesian Press Council: “We could be going the way of the Taliban.”

That’s not likely, in a country which, although of a Muslim majority, is overwhelmingly moderate, and whose founding fathers resisted attempts to include elements of Islamic law in the 1945 constitution. Current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a moderate Muslim who advocates religious tolerance, has given no clear indication of where he stands on the bill. Last week, however, he appeared to be trying to burnish his Islamic credentials when he mentioned an occasion on which a dancer bearing her midriff was invited to the presidential palace. “I was really disturbed,” Yudhoyono told reporters. “I told the singer to go home even before she performed.”

Resistance from non-Muslims and civil liberties groups has forced legislators to start revising the bill, a process they plan to complete by June. But pressure from influential Muslim organizations to impose harsh sanctions remains strong. “We have to stop this drift toward moral liberalization,” says Din Syamsuddin, chairman of Muhammadiyah, the country’s second largest Muslim organization. Leaders such as Syamsuddin deny any intention of imposing Shari’a or that non-Muslims are being targeted. They also reject the claim that rights will be curtailed, saying that the objective of the law is to protect women and children. “The removal of pornography is not an infringement on press freedom,” asserts Santi Soekanto from the Anti-Pornography Alliance, a civic group. “Most countries have some form of laws regulating the industry.” Opponents say there is sufficient legislation already on the books—it just needs to be enforced—and that the new laws leave the definition of pornography unclear and open to interpretation. “The bill does not differentiate between what is considered pornographic, erotic and indecent,” says Franz Magnis-Suseno, a Jesuit priest. “It is more than a little ridiculous.”

Such ambiguity has community leaders like I Gusti Ngurah Harta worried. A Balinese who is spearheading the predominantly Hindu island’s opposition to the legislation, Ngurah Harta says the bill would effectively be the “third Bali bomb,” destroying efforts to bring the struggling local economy back to life after two devastating terrorist attacks in the past four years. “It would not only ruin tourism by imposing harsh restrictions on what might be considered unacceptable dress or behavior,” he says. “By threatening our culture, arts, dance and creativity, it threatens our way of life and right to exist.”

As the joged bumbung dance comes to a close in the tiny Balinese village of Tegalcangkring, no one in the audience appears overly excited. The men begin to file out while several women and children applaud and compliment the dancer on her performance. One mother proffers a small donation, but then pulls her hand back in jest. “Oops, I better be careful,” she says with a smile. “If the new anti-pornography law gets passed I could be arrested.” The Balinese are still able to joke, but they worry that if the law goes through unamended, smiles will be few and far between.

From the Apr. 10, 2006 issue of TIME Asia Magazine

http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501060410-1179416,00.html

twist of tongue

We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
This was a good time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of injections my jaw got number.
Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I read it once and will read it agen
I learned much from this learned treatise.
I was content to note the content of the message.
The Blessed Virgin blessed her. Blessed her richly.
It’s a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.
If he will absent himself we mark him absent.
I incline toward bypassing the incline.