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Internet

Basement Bloggers

As Gelf has recently documented, Sarah Palin is the latest in a long list of well-known people to dismiss bloggers as basement-dwelling malcontents. She told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, "I'm going to characterize them as those bloggers in their parents' basement just talking garbage" (is it necessary to include [sic] when the speaker is Sarah Palin, or, is it just implied by this point?). Not surprisingly, the bloggers struck back.

Internet

2001: A Search Odyssey

To celebrate the by-now-probably-evil company's tenth anniversary, Google has recreated its search engine from January 2001. For those of you who have forgotten the halcyon days of the pre-9/11 world, the Dow was still above 10,000, "social networking" had little to do with the internet, and George W. Bush wanted to pursue a "humble" foreign policy. Though we're hardly the first to try it, Gelf decided to look up some current search terms in Google's wayback machine.

Internet

Stryde Hax Beats the Times

Blogger Stryde Hax has exposed an age scandal involving the Chinese Olympic women's (or should it be girl's?) gymnastics team by cleverly hacking into search engines like Google and Baidu. It sounds like a neat little triumph for citizen journalism, and it kind of is—Hax managed to uncover the gymnasts' real ages—or at least the ages the government had previously assigned them—using tools available to anyone with a brain and an internet connection. But his work wasn't exactly original.

Internet

The Full 'Monty'

The Montauk Monster, that bloated, seemingly decomposing corpse of some creature that washed up on a Montauk, Long Island, beach last month, has been getting a lot of attention recently—perhaps too much attention when there are decidedly more important things going on, like simultaneous wars and the return of $2 Starbucks after 2 p.m. So why is a certain part of the online world abuzz about "Monty"? It's the pageviews, stupid.

Internet

Hasbro's Triple Turd Score

Imagine you're a major board game manufacturer, specifically marketing an old tried-and-true word game. Competing with video games and all sorts of other attention-hogging entertainment products can't be good for business. It looks like you're looking at a future of grandmas, word nerds, and collecting dust in the basement. But then, by some chance miracle, two software engineers in India decide to adapt your game to a popular social networking site, and it takes off like wildfire.

Internet

A Word of Mouse Virus

Marketing something over the internet, are you? (We are, kind of, we suppose. Say, buy a T-shirt.) Good news, then—you're participating in a new trend! No, really, you are, even though we're pretty sure the internet was used for marketing from the moment Al Gore invented it. But now, of course, it's different, because everything is 2.0 (we're currently taking bets on when the web goes 3.0), so you're using word of mouse.

Science

Et Tu, M. Night?

Viewers of M. Night Shyamalan's new film, The Happening, were treated, at the movie's outset, to a certain quotation from Albert Einstein regarding the disappearance of the bee. A quotation that, as Gelf reported more than a year ago, likely never passed from the famed physicist's lips. If Shyamalan would like to know more about the origins of the phrase we'd like to suggest that he—shameless plug here—read the article.

Science

Something Plus Nets

The New York Times recently noted the trend of donating money towards anti-malaria mosquito nets. Such nets are an important tool in fighting malaria, and have received attention from the likes of the NBA, American Idol, and ESPN (formerly Sports Illustrated) columnist Rick Reilly. The Times piece, however, prompted a letter from Richard Tren, Director of Africa Fighting Malaria, noting that "malaria control is more than just nets." So what is malaria control? And what impact does the focus on nets have on fighting the disease? Gelf contacted Tren, who responded (after the jump).

Internet

Celebrity Baby Blog 1, Economist 0

Last week, People.com acquired Celebrity Baby Blog, an internet hub for the all-important topic of famous people's children. As TechCrunch pointed out, the deal makes sense seeing as People "knows that stories about pregnant celebrities and their babies sell." Actually, they sell quite a lot—Celebrity Baby Blog registered nearly seven million page views in April alone, according to comScore.

Science

Sex Exchanges

This just in from smart people: Men sometimes buy women stuff in the hopes of getting sex in return. More often than not, they are unsuccessful in this attempt. In addition, women will occasionally give men sex, or the possibility of sex, in exchange for stuff or protection.

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