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    ISU Graduation

    ISU's December graduation was a fun event.  Nice to see Marjorie and all the students graduate -- they've all accomplished so much.  The president's speech was not as upbeat as perhaps it might have been at other times.  But the thrilled smiles of graduates and their family and friends was very positive.  Graduation ceremonies for December 09 ISU graduates at Redbird Arena


    SyFy Alice

    We watched the SyFy channel's Alice over weekend, thanks to a tip from a friend from IU.  It seemed like a Caterina Scorsone as Aliceslightly odd revamp through the mindset of Dr. Who.  Kathy Bates was interesting as the Red Queen, particularly in the red butterfly chair.  Harry Dean Stanton as the Caterpillar seemed like a good choice. 

    Lots of references to the original texts, many of which seemed rather obvious.  for instance, when you saw the crib didn't you just expect to see a pig in there?  The discussion boards on Alice have details on the many references.

    Harry Dean Stanton as the Caterpillar


    Book noted in ISU's College of Arts & Sciences newsletter

    My new book, The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children's Literature, was recently noted in the newsletter published by Illinois State University's College of Arts & Sciences.  Nice to have the recognition of the university every once in awhile.


    Twilight vs. Harry Potter

    Here's a different take on the Twilight phenomenon "Do Twilight Fans Get Flak Because They're (mostly) Girls?"  The question is that if it was less of a romantic book, and more of an adventure book, similar to the Harry Potter series, then maybe the book wouldn't be so bedeviled by critics.

    However, Harry Potter hasn't been as loved by critics as this blog seems to suggest.

    Here's an article on all the book banning of Harry Potter. More details about the Potter censorship battles. Here's The New York Times' children's book editor, Laura Miller's take on how long a book takes to become a classic, and why Harry Potter is yet to be one. She also writes about the children's literature publishing world in that article for Salon. Christian bookstores and some Christians haven't been very enamored with the Potter series, either.

    The list is endless, but Harry Potter is not particularly beloved among everyone and has taken his hits and arrows. Twilight is paying the price for popularity as well.


    Twilight popularity

    The popularity of Twilight continues to be debated.  The multitude of ideas sometimes seems to confuse why it is popular.  Yesterday in the Chicago Tribune Jonathan Zimmerman had an op-ed piece that Twilight's popularity is very much connected to the hook-up style of dating and the minority of men on college campuses.  Zimmerman says that young women on college campuses are giving up control of dating to young men. The thing about Bella is that she wants control of the relationship.  Edward is far more old-fashioned than the kind of men Zimmerman is writing about.

    What do you think are the reasons that Twilight is so popular?