Five things that should be in your inbox...
We all have some daily or weekly email newsletter or other e-feed which we find insturmental to our daily lives. Daily news, jokes, quotes, or so on. So I'm suggesting we share them. Here are (Five) things I would suggest you get into your inbox. Please respond by telling me about your favorites, and/or why my favorites rock (or suck).
Then, copy this basic concept into your journal and insert some numbner of your own favorites to share with your friends & readers.
#1. A Word A Day from Wordsmith.org. Along with an anagram server and an email dictionary, Wordsmith offers a daily email with the definitions, origins, uses and backstories of interesting words every day. As Reader's Digest used to say, It pays to Enhance your Word Power. (That was always my -favorite- column when I was little... And, they still do say that, to be technically correct... I stopped reading once I got old enough to realize they actually meant "Readers who are unabashedly convervative and wouldn't ever stoop to thinking for themselves Digest")
#2. New York Times Online. The online edition of the New York Times is one of the best sources I've found for news on the internet. Log in and set up your free profile, and you get fully customized New York Times goodness in your email inbox every day. They also have a nifty electronic edition that is the whole 300-odd pages daily newspaper, in the same format as the paper version, but scannable, searchable, saveable, and all the other -ables that we've come to love from digital media. Looks like it's about $.75 a day, or about $20 a month for 7/wk delivery. Full time students & faculty get it for about half that.
#3. Mother Jones Online. While the newstand edition of Mother Jones should be required reading for free-thinkers, if that weren't a bit of an oxymoron, the online edition, Informed Dissent certainly serves as a more convenient and sometimes more timely supplement.
#4. I suppose Urban Dictionary might be considered the snide, affectedly ignorant teen-age sister of Wordsmith.org. This site chronicles the daily, hourly mutation, evolution, and degredation of the language on an as-working basis. It's semi-wiki in nature, without using the silly-assed word "wiki" itself... So people add definitions as the work progresses. It's a great site for us old farts who need to understand exactly what the nuanced meanings are behind such literary phrases as "get jiggy wit' it", and to decide which new (or newish) words and phrases we want to endorse with our own use, but it only goes so far. It falls short of fully documenting the real crimes of the unwashed heathens who are performing daily scatological sex acts with the English language... Because those mostly tend to be crimes of misdefinition and dilution... For instance, the way "Outrageous" has somehow become synonymous with "slightly unruly" or "substitute for" has become bizarrely interchangeable with "substitute with". Still, it's an excellent and sometimes entertaining way to keep a finger on the pulse of modern english useage (*urp!* sorry... I tend to throw up just a little when I say those words together...) I keep a link to look up odd usage on web forums, and get it daily in email.
#5. Fifth is a tie (I know... I'm making this up -and- bending the rules at the same time... Stupid.) First, I'll push Annenberg's Political Fact Check, which is a function of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They are meticulously non-partisan, and seem to delight in pointing out the facts and misrepresentations no matter who the politician or organization in question is.
For the other side of the tie, I think I'm going to go with Planet Out's Planet Out News. The newsletter (you have to sign up for a free account first) is irregular, rather than an every day thing, and it's quite focused on LGBT issues, of course... But it is a very good resource.
There are rather a lot of things I could mention in addition to or even instead of one of the above, but I wanted to keep it kind of balanced. Maybe I'll do this again sometime. And, with any luck, I'll get so many good ones from you, that all my remaining free time will be spent reading, anyway ;-)