November 2, 2005 

Thilly Things•Explanation Wanted•Gnot Right•My Letter•My Unpublished Letter

Thilly Things

Boise Weekly is getting more silly with each week. A whole edition dedicated to food and recipes? What happened to "alternative" journalism? BW was once a stellar source of "alternative" news, ideas, and social controvery. Less Martha Stewart nonsense and more local Boise political and socal issues please ...
--Book Adams

Editors' Note: Book, we think you might enjoy this issue, too.

Explanation Wanted

Will someone explain to me how is it if a woman throws her children into San Francisco Bay and says, "God told me to do it," she is arrested and put in jail. However, when George W. Bush invades Iraq, causing the death of tens of thousands innocent Iraqis and 2,000 U.S. soldiers, and says, "God told me to do it," he gets away with it?
--Mark Klinger,

Boise

Gnot Right

Please let me correct a misstatement (or maybe a misunderstanding, or maybe some other form of things being amiss) in your article about the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (BW, Curious Times, October, 19, 2005). Your report says: "The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was created by the editors of the Annals of Improbable Research (improb.com) in order to recognize 'achievements' in science that would otherwise go unnoticed because they are so stupid."

I am the creator and organizer of the ceremony. The Igs are not intended to honor things that are stupid--that quality, stupidity, neither increases nor decreases the chances of winning an Ig. The official criterion for winning is: "achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think."

Good or bad, brilliant or stupid, valuable or worthles--all these distinctions are irrelevant. And the prizes are not limited to achievements in science. Last year, for example, the Ig Nobel Peach Prize was awarded to Daisuke Inoue, the inventor of karaoke. Mr. Inoue was honored for "creating an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other."

Thanks for letting me correct the record. You can find a complete list of the winners at www.improbable.com.
--Marc Abrahams

My Letter

If I had intended it to be considered a "letter to the editor" I would have sent it as such, instead of what was supposedly a private communication.
--Phillip A. Prindeville

Editor's Note: Many times I respond personally to e-mails in addition to publishing them in the paper, as was the case with Mr. Prindeville's letter (BW, MAIL, October 19, 2005). His follow up letter responding to my personal reply did state "NFP" and our apologies to Mr. Prindeville for including this portion of his lengthy followup letter. We wanted to make a point. Anything, and I mean anything--phone calls, e-mails, letters, comments on our Web site, even conversations on the street--are fair game for our MAIL unless you say it is not. Our rules have said this for some time.

My Unpublished Letter

Nowhere does it say that you will not publish all letters submitted to you, but that you will "choose" a small number to be published. Why isn't this, in my opinion, very poor policy published prominently? There is no excuse for the editor of a little weekly in a third-rate market to reject readers' opinions out of hand, as you do.

If I had known that my letter might be tossed, I wouldn't have wasted my time writing my rebuttal of Cope's column.

If presently you don't have "enough room" to publish all readers' letters, then make room, dammit!
--Robert Boester,

(A former reader)

Editor's Note: If you absolutely want your comments heard, post comments online at www.boiseweekly.com.

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