Everything I Read Online is Pornography

I’m sitting in the airport in Dayton. It has free wireless Internet, which is good, but over on top of that free wireless Internet is the Webmarshal filtering system, which is bad. It’s bad because it is apparently absolutely indiscriminate in what it classifies as pornography, and, thus, blocks.

Among the sites currently blocked as “porn”: Boing Boing, Google’s blog search, Gawker, and all of LiveJournal. All of it! So is MySpace! And Facebook! Apparently Webmarshal is convinced that every single social networking/blogging site is endemically plastered with Goatse double-penetration felch hentai or something. Sure, maybe parts are. But surely not all. And certainly not the parts I want to visit. My days of grooving to Goatse double-penetration felch hentai are over. Most days. And even if they weren’t, I’m not going to try to access any of it in public. I don’t want to get thrown out of the airport, you know. I do have a flight to catch.

Even Whatever is not immune to Webmarshal’s charms — I can access it, but not before having to go a screen that warns me that there’s harsh language here (which is totally fucking untrue), and that my access is being noted by the system administrator. Well, let him note it. In 30 minutes, I’ll be on a plane.

Anyway, note to Webmarshal: Your Web filtering sucks. And yes, I fully expect Whatever to be blocked as pornography the next time I come through Dayton’s airport. This is what I get for writing “Goatse double-penetration felch hentai.”

(Update: Heh. It actually got blocked within 30 seconds. I can update to the site, apparently — I just can’t see it. Ridiculous.)


Author Interview: Jennifer Ouellette

I’ve finally gotten my act back together and restarted the Ficlets Author Interview series: I sent out a bunch of well-delayed author questions today and will be sending out another batch in a couple of days. And — even better — I got one set of answers back, from Jennifer Ouellette, author of the highly entertaining and scientifically engaging The Physics of the Buffyverse, which is about — can you guess? — physics in the universe of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ouellette and I chat about the value of these sort of pop science books, whether “popular science” books in general have too narrow an audience, and what some of the most flat-out cool science discoveries of the last few years have been. It’s a good interview, and if you miss it, your life will be a meaningless void. Sorry. But there it is.

Also, a quick procedural note — I’m running about like a madman on Wednesday (i.e. today — well, actually tomorrow, as I’m timestamping this as Wednesday but actually writing it on Tuesday) so I might not update again until much later Wednesday, if I update at all. If you don’t see me around today, don’t panic. I’m alive, just offline. It will happen from time to time.

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