Monthly Archives: October 2005

Author sides with Google against her publisher

I’m all for the indexing of books in print. I want to assure the publishers that I will still buy books(if not even moreso), if/when Google Print gets its way.

But read this first. It’s about an author who wants Google Print to index her book so that more people will find her book. Unfortunately, her publisher against it, and rather decided to sue Google instead.

Book author to her publishing company: your lawsuit is not helping me or my book (

It’s interesting. Go read it (well, the article, then you can consider the book).

Please allow me to conclude with my own experience with print and digital literature. I like reading. I always have, but I admit that it sometimes falls by the wayside when I feel stressfully busy. Still, I do like to think of myself as an active reader. To make things concrete, I’m in the middle of Merton’s “No Man is an Island,” Dorfman’s “The Empire’s Old Clothes,” Wong’s “Fifth Chinese Daughter,” and Wells’ “The Invisible Man.” The last of these, I read on my PDA. Ooooh. Digital book. I didn’t pay money for a print edition. Uh-oh. But of the others, one is from the library, and I *did* pay for the others. Would I have paid money for them if they were available free? Maybe. I still buy books that I really should borrow from the library– I doubt anyone has space to store all the books one has read. I could if they were digital, but I do like reading from print rather than screen. I have no idea how digital paper would change things, but right now, I find it much more pleasant to read a book and flip pages. I only read on the PDA because it can go *everywhere* with me.

I also fully support the complete digitization of all books or media out of copyright or in the public domain. Indexing of current works seems fine, too. Instead of the hassle of tricking Google into revealing the book, it might be faster to just scan/photocopy a library’s copy. I side with Google in believing that indexing will surely help book sales. I also believe that copyright terms are already longer than they need to be. If the work has so much lasting appeal, let it one day be free to benefit the public. The author has had ample time to receive her reward, so why not?

This also reminds me of how I have this pop CD I bought when it was cool 5 years ago, and I accidentally damaged it recently, and it’s out of print, so I *can’t* get a replacement copy. Since the CD price has nothing to do with media cost, I *should* be able to get another one minimal cost. But I can’t. Hey, I have a license, what gives? Is the distribution the cost? Then I also wonder how those pirates in China can turn a profit if they pay for production and distribution while charging a dollar a piece.


It’s a mad, mad world.

It’s good to bake bread

As some of you may know, my latest cooking interest is bread. Inspired by the Food network and such anime as Yakitate Japan, my epic adventures began with my trusty copy of Joy of Cooking. I started with “White bread”.

It was exciting. Words cannot describe the abject wonder I beheld before my eyes. It was my first yeast bread, and the fluffiness and mystical yeast-powered rise felt like a magic trick that I would love repeating. I had the same feeling the first time I processed my first roll of black and white film. In hindsight, I didn’t knead the dough long enough, and was too impatient for the last rise, so the bread ended up being a little dense and the structure a little too fine. Anyway, I’ve baked several times since then.

I made the above loaf with whole wheat flour, so I could pretend to be all healthy and “artisan-like”. I used 5 cups of whole wheat and 1 cup of all-purpose, if memory serves. This bread was reasonably flavorful, but I think the heaviness of the whole-wheat flour prevented the dough from developing a higher rise, so it was somewhat dense too (though not as dense as the first loaf). I used the same recipe as “white bread”, with just the flour substitution.

The above loaf was done with a recipe taken from the very same inspiring anime. This was the “easy” recipe that” even the producers of the show” could handle. The strange thing about this recipe is that it’s baked in a rice cooker. Again, I used the whole wheat flour, and the result was crusty, but moist. Again, I was a little impatient and the final rise was a little short.

I’ve baked other loaves too… but I only *occassionally* feel the need to take pictures. You might feel that I already have too many pictures, but this is my blog, isn’t it? 😉

This is my latest bread “creation”. It’s the challah recipe in Joy of Cooking, with 50% whole wheat flour. The loaves don’t look as richly golden as I had hoped, but my oh my, the taste is good. You can see that the loaves are a little squashed and the braids aren’t as round as they should be, and I’m not really sure why. I do know that the dough was pretty sticky even after I finished kneading, but I did knead as long as I was supposed to, and it was indeed pretty elastic. The texture this time is the best I’ve ever done. It’s smooth, moist, and elastic. The crust is nice and crispy but not like the tough armor that many “artisan” breads have. It is that tough baked cladding that I never want in my bread, since it tends to hurt my gums when I bite in.

Anyway, do let me know if you have any tips. I’d like to bake alongside someone who is actually *good* at making bread, so I know where to adjust my technique.