redneck woman

So here’s to all my sisters out there keeping it country
Let me get a big ‘hell yeah’ from the redneck girls like me

I’ve been listening to the local country stations lately while driving around when the public radio stations aren’t broadcasting anything I’m interested in. I never cared much for country until I saw the Dixie Chicks at a Lillith Fair in 1999. I started scanning the dial on long car trips, and discovered that there are in fact some witty songwriters in the country genre, as well as some great toe-tapping tunes. One of my recent favorites is a song by Gretchen Wilson that was profiled yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered.

My reactions when I first heard this song were mixed. On the one hand, I appreciated the songwriting and gutsy humor, but on the other hand I felt a tinge of discomfort. I’m not a redneck woman, nor do I wish to be, so I couldn’t feel a kinship with the song like the women screaming “hell, yeah!” in the chorus. What appeals to me is the independence and unashamed statement of self proclaimed in this song. The commentator put it in the same category as the Dixie Chick’s Goodbye Earl, another song I can’t relate to directly, but greatly appreciate the sentiments.

I recommend giving the tune a spin on your favorite audio medium. If anything, you’ll be doing some chair dancing.

open-source scientific journals

Michael Eisen on open-source scientific journals.

I heard an interesting story/commentary [RealAudio] on open-source scientific journals on Marketplace yesterday. I’m glad that they are willing to report on business models that are not focused only on monetary gain. I liked Eisen’s midwife analogy, too.

Scientific and medical research is funded through taxes, and print and online subscriptions to scientific journals are very expensive. Commentator Michael Eisen, co-founder of the Public Library of Science, explains the reasoning behind the launch of two new online biomedical journals and the unusual decision to make the sites available at no charge. “We’re upending the business model,” says Eisen. “Let the publishers become what they should be naturally: midwives to our research publications.” That way, he says, a thriving scientific publishing industry is maintained, but it has a free system of access that benefits all.