Just a short post today, because I seem to have caught a cold and am not feeling all that well. I suspect I caught it at the motorbike show I visited this weekend. Though at least I also found and bought a lovely Steampunk necklace there.
The cookie is back! I already linked to some articles about the daring golden cookie heist performed by none other than Cookie Monster or someone pretending to be him. But now there is a new development, because the cookie has been found, hanging around the neck of a statue of a horse, emblem of the German state of Lower Saxony of which Hannover is the capital, in front of the Leibniz university in Hannover. The location is significant, because the brandname Bahlsen butter cookies are sold under is Leibniz cookies, named after 17th century Hannoverian mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
The degree is gone. The university of Düsseldorf has stripped Annette Schavan, secretary of education in Angela Merkel’s cabinet, of her doctorate because of plagiarism charges. Annette Schavan says that she will appeal the decision, but her political career is likely over. I already reported on the Annette Schavan case and the depressing problem of political plagiarism in Germany repeatedly in this blog, most notably here and here. The Schavan case was never as clear-cut as the Guttenberg plagiarism case and the many lesser plagiarizing politicians. And three years ago, her dissertation probably would have passed with criticisms of improper citation (basically what Schavan did was quote somebody else’s quote of a work she had not read, which is generally a bad idea), but at the moment dissertations by politicians are under extra scrutiny.
The results for All About Romance‘s poll about the best romance novels of 2012 are in. There’s also some additional commentary here. I participated in the poll, but my own choices were very different. Indeed, I only read three of the winning books, all of them in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy/speculative romance spectrum, namely Lothaire by Kresley Cole (liked it a lot, but didn’t vote for it), Riveted by Meljean Brook (liked it a lot and voted for it, albeit in a different category) and Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews (liked it a lot, but didn’t vote for it). I had to check whether I read the Nora Roberts or not, but I didn’t. But then, All About Romance has always tended heavily towards historical romances, which I hardly ever read.
I completely missed the background to this, but I applaud John Scalzi’s method of dealing with the guy who’s been sending trolls to his blog. Come to think of it, the gentleman in question – not Scalzi, but the bloke who has been sending trolls to his blog – did call me “immoral” some time back, because I dared to point out that the Thomas Covenant books, which he likes, and the Joe Abercrombie/Richard Morgan/Matt Stover/insert name of author of grimdark fantasy here books that he didn’t like were all the same sort of ugly, grimdark stuff.