Monday, March 24, 2008

Cuddling up with the New York Times

I read the newspaper online now--only because I can't afford the print version.

As much as I am attempting to shrink my carbon footprint, I think I might splurge on the addiction I have to print publications. I need them, I covet them, I adore them. But if I have to settle for just being able to get the words from a computer screen, it's better than nothing.

Today, while I was reading Sunday's column by Maureen Dowd I ran across at least two unfamiliar allusions. I thought, "Hmmm. I don't know what that word means but I'm too lazy to look it up now." (And this from a woman who would only have to open a new tab to search for the information. It's not like I'd have to go to my big dictionary or the library or anything...) From context clues I got the gist, but still... yet another word I don't really know....

Then, at the bottom of the article I read this note:

Tips

To find reference information about the words used in this article, double-click on any word, phrase or name. A new window will open with a dictionary definition or encyclopedia entry.

"Oh my God! I'm going to be smarter in five minutes!"

I cruised back up to clarify a few words and phrases and not only did the information pop up right there, if it didn't it told me where to check for more. I told Justin how rad this new tool is and he was equally enthralled and asked where this new toy could be found.

"The New York Times, of course."

Later I read an e-mail from my college Alpha Phi friend who is now working in the Congo with HOPE doing micro-finance. Via the web she introduced me to a friend of hers who lives in the area where we will live for the next three years.

How can I not love a tool that allows me to "talk" with a friend in Africa who can introduce me to a friend in Los Angeles while I sit still in my pyjamas doing my morning reading?

On the downside, I have yet to find a comfortable position in which to read the news from my laptop. As a reader since I was about 3 years old, I love to read curled up on my side with the book or the folded up newspaper in front of me. It's called lolling around. I can lie on my side, my back, my tummy or sit up and easily carry the paper to any of those positions and be happy. This morning I tried to content myself with sliding down on the couch in an almost lying down position, as though I were a plank for someone very small or a cat to climb up my body and sit on the couch with me, and rest my laptop on my chest so I could be comfortable and read at the same time. It was not in the cards. My boobies got in the way. Boobies for me are not a shelf on which I can rest anything, so then I tried resting my legs on the coffee table instead and still, no real lounging comfort.

Alas, I still want my morning newsPAPER. It's cuddly, leaves ink on my fingers and has a beautiful familiar scent.

But the e-version does have the capacity to make me smarter in five minutes, so that's cool too. But I could combine the two. I could read in lounging paper comfort, and then if I found something I wanted more information on, I could just get the article online and click to put another fact in my brain.

Serious, how cool is that!!!

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