Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Um, Wow

More on the plagiarism stuff that exploded on Monday: Cassie Edwards’ Publisher: She’s No Plagiarist. The more I read about it, I’m doubtful that she’s going to be prosecuted on legal grounds since all the books she copied from look like they’re so old that the copyright has expired. But it still doesn’t mean that this is ethical. And it doesn’t make it okay if the subject being copied is factual. Anyone who has read any non-fiction knows that it’s written with a particular author’s style and interpretation. If anything, it just looks like the author’s been sneaky by lifting passages from the public domain. She doesn’t even have the paltry excuse of even having acknowledgements–so an “Ian McEwan/Dan Brown defense” isn’t plausible. There’s a line between heavily borrowing ideas while writing it in your own words and blatantly copying. And in this case, it definitely looks like this author has crossed it.

This Morning

Tangled Bank #96 is now up at Aardvarchaeology. Go read up on some science blog posts like ones on bioluminescent animals, barnacle evolution, and the biology of aging.

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A brief pet peeve–chatty people who stand around and take up space on the only non-icy part of the sidewalk. Maybe it’s fun watching all the other pedestrians slide past like unbalanced cartoons, but let me tell you, it’s not fun being that cartoon.