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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the month “June, 2011”

Annoying Searches

It is very annoying to see people brought to my blog by entering “sexy russian girls”, “russian woman sex” and “sex relations rumanian girls” into a search engine.

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Advertising With WordPress.com: Skimlinks

Before I begin telling you about Skimlinks, I want to make completely sure everybody knows that you are not supposed to use any advertising on your blog if you run a free blog with WordPress.com. Of course, if your blog is self-hosted (which means that you went to WordPress. org, downloaded their software and proceeded to host the blog on your own), you can do anything you want. If, however, you don’t feel sufficiently technologically gifted to self-host and decided to rely on the expertise of the WordPress.com’s programmers, you are not allowed to use the blog for advertisement purposes. WordPress people strive to maintain a distance from Blogger’s practices. They want WordPress blogs to be free from the kind of weirdness that often proliferates on Blogger.

The freedom to add any kind of code one wants to Blogger’s blogs has made it very dangerous for a regular user to click through them at random. Whenever I tried to do so, I’d get attacked by malicious software within minutes. So in order to avoid all that, WordPress decided to prohibit the use of any advertisement by its bloggers. If you try to sneak any advertisement past them, your blog runs the risk of getting banned, which is definitely not worth it.

However, the good news is that if your blog is popular (meaning 25,000+ hits a month), you can ask WordPress to turn on AdSense and Skimlinks on your blog. In order to petition for that, all you need to do is go here and fill in the form. I’m sure everybody knows what AdSense by Google is by now and what its grave limitations are (if somebody doesn’t know, just mention it and I’ll elaborate at length), so I’ll just tell you about Skimlinks.

Those of you who have had an Affiliate account with Amazon must probably realize that creating and maintaining affiliate accounts with hundreds of companies is an incredible drag. At this point, if one more site asks me to create a Username and Password, I will just howl. The point of Skimlinks is that it gets in touch with affiliates directly and bills them for you. As a result, you never have to establish an affiliate account with anybody ever again.

So the way Skimlinks works is as follows. Say, you want to be rewarded for all the traffic you send to Barnes&Noble with all your intelligent book reviews. All you need to do (after you have opened a Skimlinks account) is provide a regular text link to their website, just like I did in the previous sentence. And that’s all you need to do. Skimlinks will keep track of how many people followed the link, calculate your payments, and send them to you.

The benefits of this great program are obvious. For one, your blog is not filled with ugly, bulky, distracting advertising. Readers don’t get annoyed by the flashing images and annoying, sometimes offensive content (just remember the epic struggle that Feministing engaged in to remove diet supplement ads from that feminist blog). You are absolutely in control of who you link to and what you say about them. If you don’t feel like linking to anybody for a while, then that is your choice (AdSense keep pushing its ugly ads on you all the time.) Skimlinks is as discreet, inoffensive and easy to use as anybody can possibly wish for.

Since I first heard about Skimlinks a short while ago, I have researched it and discovered that it’s a young company created by a group of really cool people in England who have come up with this model of monetizing your content that, in my opinion, will eventually defeat the stupid AdSense monopoly.

Of course, you can use Skimlinks on absolutely any kind of website, not just a WordPress.com blog.

Clarissa’s Chicken Soup With Rice: A Recipe

As I mentioned before, I prefer to make complex, multi-ingredient recipes that take hours to prepare. However, sometimes one feels like creating a simple, easy-to-make old favorite. In our family, chicken soup with rice is one of such staples.

The most difficult part of making this soup is preparing chicken stock. The stock is central to this dish’s success and can under no circumstances be substituted with the store-bought kind. To make really good chicken stock (that you can use for all kinds of soups, not just this one), take some chicken meat on the bone. I only had drumsticks in the house, so I took four of them, removed the skin(nobody in hour house likes the skin) and put them into a large pan filled with water.

This is how it needs to look before you start cooking

I also added a medium-sized onion, two small bay leaves, and several peppercorns. After this is done, put the pan on high heat. It is very important that your stock never starts to boil. This is why you need to hang around as it heat up. Grey foam will start appearing on top of the stock, and you will have to keep removing it with a slotted spoon. Granted, that’s a drag, but the more foam you remove, the clearer your stock will end up looking. After the stock comes almost to the boiling point, lower the heat, add some salt, dice a carrot and add it to the stock. Now, your stock will need to remain on low heat for about 90 minutes.

This is what your stock will look like after it’s done:

The stock was so clear that I had trouble taking a picture without my reflection appearing in it

Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf and the onion after the stock is ready.

While the stock is cooking, boil some eggs and make some white rice the way you regularly make it. Make sure the rice isn’t mushy. Put a tablespoonful of rice, half a boiled egg, some chopped fresh cilantro into a bowl. Add the stock. Throw in a couple of croutons. And you are ready to eat.

Pretty, huh?

Notice how clear the stock looks. You can barely even see it. This means it was made correctly and enough foam was removed in the process.

This soup can easily be eaten as a main course.

Enjoy!

Curious Statistics About Amazon’s Top Reviewers

A study has discovered what the majority of Amazon‘s top reviewers is like:

Seventy percent of the top reviewers are male, their median age is 51-60, and more than half hold a graduate degree. About 14 percent of those reviewers are professional writers.

As one of Amazon’s top reviewers, I’m glad to report that I’m quite exceptional in this area, too. I do have many graduate degrees but I’m neither male nor 51-60.

Was Then Better Than Now?

After looking at this cartoon, I’m sure everybody will be able to tell why I dislike all this whining about how horrible things are now compared to the rosy past. You can see what bothers me about it, right?

I found the cartoon here.

Neighbors

People who have a loud party on the verandah until 3 am on a weeknight are bad neighbors. People who start drilling or sanding at 7:40 am are also bad neighbors.

But what do you call people who do both within the space of one night?

More Trouble on Blogger

And I hear Blogger is experiencing “issues” again. I guess they haven’t been able to repair what had gone wrong in mid-May. Does everybody realize I was right to switch over to WordPress when I did?

This is the perfect moment for my favorite phrase: I told you so!

Justin Bieber and Perfume

Can anybody explain to me what the point of sticking Justin Bieber’s name on a bottle of perfume is? (Only follow the link if you are prepared to see the ugliest bottle of perfume in existence.) Or Britney Spears’s, or Jennifer Lopez’s, or Elizabeth Taylor’s, for that matter. It’s obvious that none of these people have anything whatsoever to do with making perfume and just accepted money to allow their name to be put on the bottle. So what’s the point of doing that at all? And why does the product say “by Justin Bieber”? Is anybody really stupid enough to believe Bieber had anything to do with the creation of the scent?

Who Really Needs a Cure?

Nominatissima shared a link to the following brilliant bingo cards listing the stuff we, the autistics, keep hearing from parents obsessed with finding a “cure” for their children’s way of being. For those who don’t understand why these cards are funny, you need to know that this is the stuff one begins to hear all the time the moment one identifies as autistic. I heard many of them addressed to me verbatim.

And another one:

Before leaving comments, make sure they haven’t appeared on one of these cards already.

Tomorrow, I will treat you to a card for self-hating autistics.

Forget About Cancer and HIV. Let’s Eliminate Autism Instead

You can see the poster for this program in this photo

I found the following bizarre story on Izgad’s blog:

The American Friends of Tel Aviv offer scholarships for medical research and what do they think to offer as an example but the elimination of autism. It is not like we are lacking in real illnesses in need of a cure like cancer or anything. I never thought I would have anything in common with Palestinians, but I guess we are both potential targets of the Zionist enterprise.

Unlike Izgad who offers a very funny post on the subject, I lack a sense of humor. This just makes me very annoyed.

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