Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Coffee Breaks

Coffee breaks are great...but not always as productive as I'd like them to be. Today, I was going to work on wrapping up my final project for school....but I decided to see how many words I had for this NaNo thing. A little over a week ago, I figured out that I'd never make it to 50,000 words by the end of today. It took the pressure off, but I decided to keep writing anyway, just adding a few paragraphs here, a few pages there when I get chunks of time. I was able to write longhand in the car last week on the road trip, and got a few thousand words. But I never bothered to check and see what my total was. At the beginning of my break I decided to find out, just for giggles. After I converted the whole thing into a txt file and had the Nano site do a count I had - are you ready? - 43,565 words. Do you know what that means? That means that I now have about 12 hours to write another 6,435 words. I also have a project due tomorrow that is not complete. And my best friend is coming over for dinner. But I have to finish now. Because I am so frickin' close, that I can't give up. Even if I only have 50,000 words on the dot. Even if the last 2,000 words are even worse crap than some of the other words I've put in this monster. It will mean that I've done it. I have an hour lunch coming up, and another break this afternoon. Then, I may not sleep tonight. But it's all worth it, right? {breaks into Billy Joel} You have to learn to pace yourself.....PRESSURE.....

Caption the photo


IMG_0712
Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
I have no clue what I'm thinking here or why I'm making faces. And it's anyone's guess as to what Robert is whispering in my ear - probably something indecent, knowing him. And with my Darling Mama only a few feet away too! Why do pictures always seem to catch me with crazy, goofy and weird expressions on my face?

We had an unbelievably good time in Florida for Thanksgiving, and ate an equally unbelievable amount of food. It's been back to the grindstone since we got home, though - my final school projects are due tomorrow morning. I'm sooooo close! After that, I'm sure I'll have more time to rant and rave.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Almost Thanksgiving....

This is the longest, slowest moving morning of the year. I'm at work, waiting for it to be noon so I can go home, get my husband and head to my sister's house for Thanksgiving with the family. I want it to be 12 pm NOW! Actually, I want it to be about 10 PM tonight, but I'll take what I can get. Unfortunately, what I have is a list of almost-but-not-quite legible citations, missing key pieces of information to boot, that I have to get organized for our ILL office. It's exactly the kind of wild goose chase that I love to take my time with. I've done three of them, but the clock has only moved 15 minutes. This kind of work usually makes the time fly by, not drag on like the apocalypse is around the corner! I purposely put off all my not-extremely-important mundane chores to do today, because they always make the time go faster, but so far that plan is not working. It's my week to file the new reference books and that usually takes a couple of hours. Today there were only 5 books so it took about 20 minutes. After I've finished the rest of these citations, all I'll have left to do is finish getting ready for my briefing next Tuesday. At least that'll give me an excuse to play around on the internet a little. And I do have an hour to work the desk this morning - not that we have anyone in the library that needs help, but at least it'll be a change of scenery from this ugly fake tree in front of me. {sigh} Bring on the Turkey, damn it!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Confession

I have a confession to make. I already listened to Christmas music. I knew it was wrong and I did it anyway. But I couldn't help myself! I just found out a couple of weeks ago that Barry Manilow (anyone leaving negative comments about Barry will be hunted down and forced to listen to his music until you change your mind) put out a second Christmas Album a couple of years ago; of course I bought it. I got if off of eBay, and it just arrived today. I tried to talk myself into waiting to listen to it til after Thanksgiving. But before I knew it, I was moving to the CD player as if I had no control. /sigh. It sure is a good CD, though. Quite worth a momentary lapse in the "No-Christmas-til-after-Thanksgiving" rule I've always had. Besides, if I didn't break my own rules every now and then, what would be the fun of having them?

Google

I love Google. If I could, I would seriously consider moving to California just so I could work for Google. They're one of the better companies to work for - free food, 2x a day? Here I am. On site massage-therapy? I'm already drooling. Their package for people with new babies makes me almost want to have a child (how does a $500 allowance for take-out food during the 1st four weeks of maternity leave sound? Bring on the KFC!). On site dry cleaning, medical services, oil change....can I just move in here? :) But the real reason is that I just love Google. I like all the ways you can take its simple interface and make it do searches that make you (well, me at least) drool. And now they've gone a bit farther. How about those times your out shopping, and decide you would really like to see a movie? You can either a.) drive to the theater and hope they're showing the one you want to see; 2.) find a newspaper and buy it and look up the info, or III.) text message Google, who will send you a reply in less than a minute telling you the theaters near you and their show times, along with the length of the movie and its rating. Feel like pizza? Let Google find you aplace to eat. Need the weather? Google has it for you! You can even try things like population queries (for those times that you have to know in the middle of a bar what the population of East Timor is). I've been playing with this for the past several (well, maybe a few sets of several) minutes. Luckily, I can just tell my boss I'm keeping up with the latest in technology. The blog writing? Oh, it's so I won't forget about all these cool things. http://www.google.com/sms/howtouse.html Did I mention the valet parking?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mr. O'Reilly

This guy is a total fruitcake. Last week, Bill O'Reilly decided that if San Francisco wanted to pass a measure keeping recruiters from school premises, than al-Qaeda should be invited in to blow the city off the map. Because here in America, we may tell you that you have the right to govern yourselves, but don't you dare try to actually do it. Today, Mr. O'Reilly went on a talk radio show in San Francisco (full transcript here). I've pulled out a few of his more intriguing comments (meaning they ticked me off, and I believe that Mr. O'Reilly is probably the Anti-Christ. Maybe only a demon, but definitely something sinister. Exactly why would you go to a city that you had just sent a death-wish too (and we're talking one of the more beloved cities in the country) only to spew out more nonsense? Maybe it's just so that people can't say that he doesn't have the guts to say it to the city's collective face. Then, he announced that he would publish a list of those on the internet intent on 'smearing' his name. Well, they heard you, Mr. O'Reilly. Every word. To help you find out who to target, Daily Kos is compiling a list for your enjoyment. Oh, yeah. The quotes from that transcript:
"You know, this is the hallmark of the left: Cheap shot everybody. Come out with the most insane things you can."
wow. Not only untrue, but hypocritical as well.
"San Francisco is...now a disgraceful city. You can't even walk around the city without seeing people doing appalling things in the streets. I mean, you're not going to wise up, I understand that. The city's been hijacked, it's going to stay that way."
Yeah, those other big cities like Miami, NYC, Chicago - everyone there just walks around spraying sunshine in the gutters, don't they? But San Francisco - it's the blight on the country's honor when it comes to what people are doing in the streets.
"Lazy, terrible reporting, which is the hallmark of the Chronicle, which is why the Chronicle is going to go out of business."
The Chronicle's going out of business? Do they know that?
"I mean, look, everybody knows what's going on there. What I said isn't controversial. What I said needed to be said. I'm sitting here and I'm looking at a city that has absolutely no clue of what the world is. None."
I don't think they like the country. I don't think these people like the country. They feel that we're the problem, we're the evildoers, that al Qaeda is created because of us. That's the hallmark of the radical left. It's always America's fault. We're the bad country, and the enlightened citizens of San Francisco, we're not going to be a part of it. We're gonna separate out. We're gonna ban military recruiting."
Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly, for enlightening my world.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The weekend at my parents' house was just too short, as always, but I have the cheerful thought that I'll see them at my sister's house in less than a week and a half. One more weekend of class, and I'll be so close to the MLIS that I can spit on it. Husband picked me up from the airport yesterday and treated me to a great dinner with a little too much wine, which we promptly topped off with a nip or two of scotch when we got home. Read: Happy Reunion. So why did a week with such potential have to have a dentist appointment in it? And it was first thing on a Monday morning. Dentists should be forced to be closed on Mondays - surely the only thing that makes that day worse is to have someone you are not intimitely related too poking around your mouth with sharp metal objects. And when you have teeth like mine - ich. My years of no dental insurance, then the past couple of years of "I'll get around to it one of these days" have combined to make sure that I'm going to be seeing more of my dentist in the next few months than I will most of the members of my family. But, I should have a new toy to play with this afternoon. Husband had a note from UPS to give me when I got back in town, saying they have two packages to deliver and will make a second attempt today between 10:30 and 2:00. So any minute, I could have them in my hands. I'm going to torture myself, though - I have to finish up an assignment for class before I allow myself to open the packages. The laptop should be motivation enough to get that dreaded project done!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Can't Rant, but wish I could

I'm at my parents house, so I can't give this the rant it deserves. Just check out this info on the Senate voting to keep detainees from disputing their presence in camps. Or read this rant in place of my usual one.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fun with Planes

And, just in time for my flight to North Carolina tomorrow (via Search Engine Watch):
  • RLM Systems/FlightView.com lets you search for flights by airline and flight number or by city and time. Be sure to check out the airport traffic map which shows flights going into and out of major U.S. cities.
  • FlyteCom/WebTrax provides flight tracking, and also provides information about all flights between an arrival and departure airport you specify.
  • Flight Explorer FastTrack offers a number of different ways to track flights in addition to airline and flight number.
  • Fboweb.com offers many services for flying geeks, including a "airspace navigator" toolbar. Most services require a free subscription to access.

The first one is fun if you just keep clicking on the "Let us find random flight for you!" and-help-you-waste-more-time-at-work-button.

Alabama Finally gets praised....why did the governor have to speak, though?

Alabama has apparently gotten some good press for once in the way that Hurricane Katrina was handled. Our state was able to act quickly and help people. Of course, we weren't hit as bad as some other places like, I don't know, Louisiana, but let's stick with the story at hand - Alabama looks good for once. Wonder of wonders, a democrat from Pennsylvania actually said "We can learn a lot by what Alabama has done." He opposes the president's proposal about putting the National Guard in charge of disaster response - that's fine and good, and I agree with him. I even like the proposals that he put out there. He thinks that states need "a freer hand in hurricane decisions ...states need a hefty helping of preparedness money. He called on Congress to free up homeland security grants, allowing them to be used on natural disasters, not just terrorist attacks. He also asked for more money on highways to provide swifter evacuation routes." Why couldn't he have just stopped there? But just so that everyone knew where his loyalties are, he had to throw this out there: "I think we've got one of the greatest presidents we've ever had". Excuse me? My governor thinks we have one of the best president's ever? Where has he been living, Norway? All of a sudden the article was tainted. I haven't had too many huge problems with Riley since he took office, in spite of the fact that he's Republican. In fact, in his first year, he probably had more support from Democrats than from his own party. But why does he have to go so far to prove that he wants to be on george's inside circle? But then I found this Q&A session on non-torture, and it cheered me up

Ask Yahoo!

I love Yahoo!’s “Question of the Day” site. I know a few people {ahem, Stacey} who will tell me that this is because I am a nerd. Well, maybe. I won’t debate that point, because she’d probably win. Whatever the reason, it’s one of my favorite feeds every day. Whether it’s finding out which country in the world is the most wired , when the position of National Security Advisor was created or what the “10/6” means in the Mad Hatter’s hat. Today’s question was something I’ve wondered myself, being the nerd that I am. I know you’re on pins and needles by now, wondering what bit of wonderful knowledge I discovered this morning. I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit of a disappointment, but that’s the nature of loving nerdy knowledge. Since I couldn’t let this one go without passing it on, go read about some of the larger denominations of bills the US has used over the years and what’s happened to them.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Has Arnold borrowed an advisor of two of george's? This sounds like something george would say:
“There’s the main event, then there is the sideshow...I don’t care about the sideshow.”
Seriously. Do these guys think that talking in metaphors will make them sound more intelligent? Just say you don't care! And oh please, oh please, oh please....: Voter anger could bring an electoral shift in '06

Saturday, November 05, 2005

My New laptop specs

Inspiron 6000 Intel® Celeron® M Processor 380 (1.60 GHz/1MB Cache/400MHz FSB), Genuine Windows XP Professional
Inspiron 6000Intel® Celeron® M Processor 380 (1.60 GHz/1MB Cache/400MHz FSB) TC16VN [222-0519]
Display15.4 inch WXGA LCD Panel 15XGA [320-3893]
Memory1GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms 1GB2D [311-4423]
Video CardIntegrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900 INTVIDS [320-4507]
Hard Drive80GB Hard Drive 80GB [341-0967]
Operating System (Office software not included)Genuine Windows XP Profssional WPXP [412-0689] [420-4770] [463-2282] [420-4830] [412-0706] [420-5460] [420-5476] [420-5598]
Network CardIntegrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem INTNIC [430-0493]
Adobe SoftwareAdobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0 ADOBER [430-1048]
Combo/DVD+RW Drives24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive 24COMBO [313-2570] [420-5111]
Wireless Networking CardDell® Wireless 1470 Internal Wireless (802.11a/b/g, 54Mbps) TM1470 [430-1362]
Office Software (not included in Windows XP)No productivity suite- Corel WordPerfect word processor only ICOREL [412-0803]
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed)No Security Subscription TMNO [420-5642]
Battery6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (53 WHr) 6BAT [312-0277]
Hardware Warranty90 day ltd warranty, mail-in and 90 day hardware support NW90N [900-3961] [960-6980] [960-6970] [983-2207] [983-2217]
Dial-Up Internet Access6 Months America Online Internet Access Included AOLDHS [412-0625] [420-3224] [412-0687] [412-0787] [420-5256]
MiscellaneousAward Winning Service & Support I6000S1 [464-0592]
Financial SoftwareNo QuickBooks package selected - includes limited use trial QBSSP [420-5139]
Operating System Backup & RecoveryPC Restore recovery system by Symantec PCR [464-5503]

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Books For Me!!!

My Ebay purchase of Nora Roberts books came in yesterday; over 30 books are now sitting on my shelf, screaming "read me, read me." Last night I gave in and started one of them. I just couldn't pick one of the shorter ones that I could've read quickly. I had to pick one of the nice, thick historical ones that I don't put down until Hubby says "Are you coming to bed soon?" for the third time. Now I'm halfway through a book that I'm dying to finish while I have 3 hours of projects to work on, not to mention that fact that I've only had about 2 hours this week to work on the whole nanowrimo thing. I just can't resist a good historical romance, though!

Ouch

Is this supposed to hurt?

"Blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns. It's not easy to fight back: Often a bashing victim can't even figure out who his attacker is. No target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of oratory. "

And then there's this quote from Peter Blackshaw:

"Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality"

A nomination for Most Interesting Job That Is Also An Excuse To Play On Your Computer All Day also came out of the article: Mr. Blackshaw works for a firm whose purpose is to keep an eye on blogs for companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Ford, in order to make sure that they can counteract any negative publicity that might be floating around the blogosphere. While I think that Mr. Daniel Lyons, the man who wrote this article for Forbes, needs some therapy, it's the same type of therapy that I would prescribe for those who think that supermarket tabloids are evil. Does Mr. Blackshaw's company pick up the latest "Weekly World News" while buying their bread and milk to make sure that BatBoy isn't slighting Ford's new line of hybrids?

"The online haters have formidable allies amplifying their tirades to a potential worldwide audience of 900 million: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, plus a raft of other blog hosts....Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity, protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host. Thus they serve up vitriolic "content" without bearing any legal responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate"

And how much traffic does the average blog get anyway? Let's say that I dislike, oh I don't know, my new coffee maker, and think that it's a piece of junk. I can write a post describing all of its deficiencies , maybe gather some comments online from review sites, completely attacking the maker of this beautiful yet absolutely horrible coffee maker. Who's going to know? A few friends, a couple of people in my family. But that's about it. It's like being a writer - if no one knows who you are, then only a few people will happen to cross your path and read what you've put out there. Some bloggers have huge followings; more have a decent number of people that cross their path. I can't help but think that Mr. Lyons has been "attacked" personally or professionally by a blogger at some point, and is more than a little paranoid as a result.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Guantanamo Bay

This story has really got me going today. The whole Guantanamo situation is out of control. george has decided that he can arbitrarily separate people from the rights guaranteed to them under not only the Geneva Convention, but also from the very rights that the founders of our country fought so hard for. Why do we have those whole "inalienable rights" and "due process" hang-ups in our legal system? Because once upon a time, a person in power became tyrannical, locking people up without being charged, torturing some, killing others. Many were never told of their crimes. As it was over 200 years ago, so it is again today. This scenario, which our country was (in part) founded to fight against, is now a big part of what we represent to the rest of the world. George has decided that if he can call people "enemy combatants" for some reason (and sometimes those reasons are just made up - but I'll get to that later), then he has the right to take away their dignity as a human being. Innocent until proven guilty? Not if the all powerful george and his cronies think that you might be guilty. Then it's all up to you to prove your innocence. So what has sparked my indignation today? This story reports that Rumsfeld, that embodiment of human kindness, has denied UN Human Rights investigators access to the Gitmo detainees. Wasn't there a pretty powerful guy somewhere over in the Middle East who tried to deny access to UN investigators? Well, let's stay on target with the current story, shall we?
"[Rumsfeld] told a Pentagon news conference that prisoners at the U.S. naval base at Guant√°namo Bay, Cuba, were staging a hunger strike that began in early August as a successful ploy to attract media attention."
Why are they on a hunger strike? Maybe because they feel they have the right to be told why they're being held in a prison camp? Because they feel they have the right to face their prosecutors, but no one is allowed to hear their side of the story? Even Saddam Hussein is being given the dignity of a trial. Many of these people aren't even given a lawyer to speak with, much less the hope that they'll be able to defend themselves in court.
"The three U.N. investigators, including one who focuses on torture, said Monday they would turn down an invitation extended by the Pentagon Friday to visit Guant√°namo unless they were permitted to interview the detainees. The invitation came nearly four years after the visits were first requested."
'Ahh... 'I hear some people thinking. 'They were given the opportunity to visit the detainees, and they turned it down. This is just another try at making the administration look bad when they're really cooperating.' Cooperating my ass. They can go look at the people from a distance. I'm sure that everything would be neat and tidy before the UN arrives with their cameras. The government is simply afraid of what the enemy combatants would have to say about what's been going on in Cuba since they arrived. What possible reason could they have for keeping the UN away? Are they afraid that one of the people in Gitmo is going to sway a UN representative to help him escape? That the UN is secretly in league with Al Qaeda , and that they are on a mission to get the entire camp off of the island? That the UN spy is going to slip a hand grenade to a detainee in the course of an interview? Of course the UN Investigators turned down the offer - it wasn't an invitation, it was an insult. And did anyone else notice that we've been telling the UN "no" for four years? Well, to be fair, I guess we've probably just been ignoring their phone calls, not actually telling them no. And here's another gem from the inner workings of Rumsfeld's brain:
"Asked about the motivation of the hunger strikers, Rumsfeld said, "Well, I suppose that what they're trying to do is to capture press attention, obviously, and they've succeeded.""
But why, Rummy dear, do they feel they need media attention? If everything is as rosy as you say they are in that camp, then why are there people on a hunger strike? Why won't you let the UN ask these people why they're on a hunger strike? Why won't you tell these people (some of whom, to be fair, probably are guilty of something - but don't they deserve to face their accusers?) how long they'll be shut out of the world? Ok, I promised a bit on someone who was kept on made-up charges.

"My cell was 8ft by 6ft, the same size as the detainees' cages at Guantanamo. Barely a week ago I had received a glowing evaluation for my work as the US army's Muslim chaplain among the "Gitmo" prisoners. Now I was the one in chains. "I knew why I had been arrested: it was because I am a Muslim. I was just the latest victim of the hostility born the moment when the planes flew into the twin towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. My real "crime" had been that I had tried to ensure that the suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters detained in the Gitmo cages were given every opportunity to practise their religion freely, one of the most fundamental of American ideals. I had monitored the atrocious treatment meted out by the guards. And I had come to suspect that my appointment as the prisoners' chaplain was simply a piece of political theatre. When reporters came to Guantanamo on the media tour, everyone had always wanted to talk to the Muslim chaplain. I had told them the things that the command expected me to say. We give the detainees a Koran. We announce the prayer five times a day. We serve halal food. Everything I said had been true. But it certainly wasn't the full story."

There are several more pages to this story, detailing James Yee's experiences in Guantanamo. It's one of the most heartbreaking stories I've ever read. It's also one of the saddest. No matter how much I criticize our government and our administration, I've always had a belief that the system will work in the end, that people are basically good people and will see the error of their ways. This story made me doubt that.

AUL


AUL
Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
I’ve been looking for a picture of my building; this’ll have to do until we get our new website up and running. The building in the middle with the huge windows (the one that looks like a giant box) is the library. Those windows are just to the front of the building, not the actual “book” section. In fact, the part of the library that I work in doesn’t even have windows. This week it’s been a surprise when I leave at night. After sitting at my desk for hours, or even walking around doing “stuff,” it’s been hours since I’ve been outside by the time that I leave work. So when I get outside at a few minutes after 5 and find that it’s almost completely dark already, my mind starts screaming “ where did the day go!!” and I feel like I’ve lost half of my play time. My husband told me that it’s offset by the fact that it’s no longer dark outside when I get up in the morning (like it was last week); I responded that it doesn’t matter – my eyes aren’t open enough in the morning to appreciate sunlight, moonlight, fluorescent light, or any other light that doesn’t come from the “on” switch on my coffee maker.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fun with Intelligent Design

The Intelligent Design Debate is becoming more hilarious over time. The Flying Spaghetti Monster gave me the giggles for months (and I expect more soon, because there is supposedly a book coming); in fact, it only became funnier as people added to his legend. His blog ("Updates on Pastafarianism and His Noodliness' Earthly Doings") makes me howl. But, the debate on ID must move on. Now the owner of The Abstract Factory has added his take on the issue, putting forth a debate between a scientist and an ID advocate. Stop reading this immediately and go read the good stuff.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Where she blithely goes on, unaware of the world around her...

I sat at my desk, at the reference desk, at the lunch table .... Sitting all day, answering questions, meanwhile dreaming of the plot for my soon-to-be-work-of-art. (Not that anyone will ever see it, but it'll still be a work of art)....I occasionally checked the news headlines....but only for a second, cause that's not considered work related. After about 1 or 2, I figure nothing else is going to happen for the day, and slip back into my fantasy world... How steamy can I make the sex scene without embarrassing myself? How soon will the "click" happen? How dangerous can I make the end before I have to show the happy ending? I drive home with the radio on high enough for back ground noise and low enough not to be distracted by what's on...hmmm ? I walk in the door, dreamily kiss my husband hello (he, of course, doesn't realize what's in my head), and go immediately to my box of joy (the computer, of course). When suddenly, I hear the news playing in the background. Words like...."Senate" "Closed Doors" "public...out" "upset Republicans"....are coming out of the television. (I have to admit, it was the "upset Republican" phrase that caught my attention) And suddenly I realized that something happened today while I was scheming up a plot at the last minute: The Democrats grew some balls. Now I have to go read all of my blogs and newslines to find out what when how and why and how much I 've missed in the past 6 hours.

National Novel Wring Month Is Here!

It's here! National Novel Writing Month has begun. 30 days, 50,000 words....how did I let myself get talked into this? I'll be out of town for at least 7 days, not to mention one weekend spent in class. We'll see how far I actually get. I've noticed some blogs with a counter on them, displaying how many of their total word count has been accomplished. Right now, I think it'd be pretty depressing to see that big fat "0." In a few days, though...well, we'll just see how much I can get from my brain to the computer. This should be fun, if I can just make myself be disciplined enough to sit down and write. And speaking of writing: I found this little tidbit interesting, and it's short enough to just put the entire thing here. I knew that IM was good for me!:
"For a while, you couldn't go a month without seeing yet another story in some newspaper with certain teachers complaining that students were letting "txting" speak appear in their writing -- leaving the teachers worried about the English skills of today's youth. However, as those stories became more popular, people began to notice they were almost all anecdotal. In fact, some people began to point out that all of this writing by kids could actually help them have a better command of the language than in times past, when many kids did almost no writing at all. Finally, in 2003, omeone did some research and found that, indeed, kids were actually much more comfortable writing than in the past. While they might experiment with using txting speak or alternative forms of language, they generally learned pretty quickly what was appropriate at what time. Obviously, not everyone gets it right all the time, but the stories of the complete destruction of kids' language abilities has been overstated. It appears that now there's even more research to support this. The latest research does show that kids are better writers than in the past ("using far more complex sentence structures, a wider vocabulary and a more accurate use of capital letters, punctuation and spelling") but are still more likely to let the occasional txting shorthand slip into their writing."