Showing posts from June, 2014

Let's Try This Again...

I wrote a post yesterday. It was a glorious post, with lots of interesting links. And it disappeared. I can't seem to find it anywhere.

I don't know why my post disappeared, but that is one of the dangers of digital information. Computers are dumb machines. They usually only do what you tell them to do, and you'd better be careful how and what you tell them to do. Every once in a while, though, there's a glitch, and the computer does something crazy, like make a glorious post disappear.

I could try and recreate everything, but it wouldn't be the same. I don't think I could track down all the links, either, although I'll list the ones I can find. Mostly, I'll just start over today.

Rather than rant again about the FCC's attempts to kill net neutrality, I'll link to the EFF's post about better alternatives: The FCC and Net Neutrality: A Way Forward. And don't forget to share your own thoughts with the FCC!

Libraries, Books, & Au…


Today, I'm just sad, because I'm not at the ALA convention. I love ALA conventions. There are so many great sessions, you meet awesome people, and there are authors signing books, and free books! I really wish I could be there.

I hope everyone there is having fun.

So, anyway, as you know: I'm a big supporter of net neutrality. (If you don't know that already, how? Here. Here. Here. Here. Here. There's more, but that's enough for now.) Well, we've definitely been vocal about it: - the FCC has gotten a remarkable number of comments from concerned citizens. Tom Wheeler, however, plans to continue procedures without holding public hearings. Tell him we need public meetings, so people can express their opinions.

Libraries, Books, & Authors:San Rafael Public Library has started issuing bamboo cards. Stylish and eco-friendly! Got Wi-Fi? Some libraries now lending hotspotsSimon & Schuster Ends Library Ebook Pilot, Expands Access to All Interested Libr…


I have nothing but links again today. Sorry! It's been busy as anything at work, and I'm tired. Here, have a cat picture to make up for it:

I love Savannah cats. I want one. One day, one day....

But I also have to point out:

‘Doctor Who’ Is Back With A Premiere Date, A Trailer, And Peter Capaldi!

And I'm really, really excited!! I mean, once this begins, you should probably expect a lot of Doctor Who posts...

Libraries, Books, & Authors:Little Did We Know: The Origins of Literary Cliches Neat!College Libraries Push Back as Publishers Raise Some E-Book PricesThe Italian town with an English secret Hint: It's a library. Okay, that's a pretty big hint, I admit.Dan Gutman shares some tips: 10 Things Parents Can Do to Encourage Their Children to Read MoreNet & Tech:The Invisible Beauty of Wireless Networks Pretty...Science:Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment Pretty sure that's unethical on so many levels... Promising …

Links Again

Sorry, I've been busy.

Libraries, Books, & Authors:Happy birthday, Pearl S. Buck! She's the author of The Good Earth, which you should read if you haven't already. Be prepared to rage and cry. I've not read her most recently discovered book (The Eternal Wonder, missing for 40 years).  Lemony Snicket Helps 'Little Free Library' Advocate Spencer CollinsDarren Aronofsky's ‘MaddAddam' Brings Margaret Atwood Novels To HBO I'M SO EXCITED!!!! I really liked this series. Pasco school drops 'Fault in Our Stars' author's book after parent's email Booooo censorship! Barnes & Noble cuts Nook loose Apparently, B&N is turning a healthy profit with brick-and-mortar stores and print books, while e-readers and e-books are faltering. Interesting...I hope Nook survives, though - I really do think they have the best e-reader. Word of the Day: Petrichor. It's a favorite word of mine.Science:Scientists Grow Miniature Beating Hearts I…

Nothing but Links Today


Libraries, Books, & Authors:Hanging with Mr. Cooper Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School allows students and faculty to spend time with an unusual resource: Cooper, the therapy dog. That's a really great idea. Technology Integration is Not About Technology…The King of MOOCs Abdicates the Throne 'What’s got the academic Internet’s frayed mom jeans in a bunch, however, is that Thrun’s alleged mea culpa is actually a you-a culpa. For Udacity’s catastrophic failure to teach remedial mathematics at San Jose State University, Thrun blames neither the corporatization of the university nor the MOOC’s use of unqualified “student mentors” in assessment. Instead, he blames the students themselves for being so damn poor.'“Sherlock Holmes” Is Now Officially Off Copyright and Open for BusinessLet’s Stop Pretending Dickens Was The Platonic Ideal of Very Serious LiteratureHeiress’s first edition copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass sells for record price at C…

Happy National Praline Day!

Yes, that's right - it's National Praline Day! If you've never had a praline, you're missing out. Really. And I mean real pralines, the kind you find in New Orleans, not whatever monstrosities Europeans have dreamed up with cocoa and bon bons.

There is only one known way to celebrate National Praline Day. If you don't have access to pralines...well, I pity you, I truly do. Also, you should come visit New Orleans, so you can stockpile some for next year's celebrations.


Libraries, Books, & Authors:The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (for Science) I don't think I have any CDs left, though.Pediatrics Group to Recommend Reading Aloud to Children From Birth Reading aloud to babies helps them to develop important early literacy skills. U.S. government’s civil war over civil liberties "The same U.S. government that has been one of the most powerful forces undermining Internet security is now touting itself as a proponent of Internet…

It's my birthday!

I just learned the most awesome thing - I've got a Google Doodle:

I assume everyone gets one on their birthday. Although I am pretty special...


Libraries, Authors, & Books:Partisan Bickering in the Natural State Good grief.Before Their Books Were Famous, These Authors Worked the Following Odd JobsNet & Tech:19 projects win Knight News Challenge on strengthening the Internet So many of these sound really awesome! The Lost Home Run: One of baseball's most important moments was almost lost - luckily, Bing Crosby had had it recorded. Not too long ago, missing episodes of Doctor Who were found, also recorded by a fan. It's almost like having people make their own copies is a good thing... Science:Earth's Electromagnetic Field Is Weakening 'A polarity flip, or drastic weakening would not be lethal, as demonstrated by the fact that past changes have not been associated with mass extinctions, but could expose powerlines and communication systems to much great…

Summer Reading

Is it just me? Really?

I really push my kids to read. What they read is mostly up to them. I might tell Swicky she needs to read something closer to her reading level if she's been reading primarily Coconut's library books, or recommend a book that is thick enough to be daunting to an eight year old; I frequently tell Coconut he needs to balance out his graphic novels with some chapter books. Still, they read every day, whether as school work or before bed (or, increasingly, when they're supposed to be going to sleep). For the library's summer reading program, which has been going on for 22 days, Swicky has read 22 books and Coconut has finished 17 so far.

Please note: we don't stop school during the summer. They both carry full school loads during the summer. If they didn't have anything else to do, I'd expect at least two books a day (or 200 pages of a long book).

So this article really confuses me: Survey: Kids who read in summer most likely to be girls,…

Censorship: Not Cool

I've written before about the censorship of illustrated materials - graphic novels, comics, and manga, specifically, although I'd lump in games, movies, and t.v. shows, as well. That's why a couple articles in particular jumped out at me today:

CNN Spectacularly Fails To Understand Manga and Anime: This first article concerns CNN's coverage of manga, which immediately assumes most (and implies all) of it is child porn - without questioning whether illustrated materials can actually be porn, since no actual person is involved; or whether it should be automatically lumped in with a type of porn we can all agree is despicable because it harms children (after all, not all types of porn are unilaterally declared morally reprehensible); or even if all manga is sexually explicit, much less whether some manga series might have an intended audience of adults. So, yeah, bad job, CNN.

How Far is Too Far? Censorship and Storytelling in Games: This next article concerns the seemingly…

Banned Books Week! Er...Well, Not Quite Yet...

Today, I sat in on a live Google+ Hangout: Banned Books Week 2014: A discussion with Little Brother author Cory Doctorow About Celebrating Graphic Novels. It was great, and I encourage you all to watch it!

I'm excited about Banned Books Week - which is kind of sad because that doesn't happen until September. This year, the focus will be on comics and graphic novels, and you all know how I feel about censorship of illustrated materials.

I'm so excited!

Are you already planning your Banned Books Week activities? If you, like I, read a banned book every year during that week, why not plan to read a banned graphic novel this year?

Libraries, Books, & Authors:Happy 75th anniversary of the Library Bill of Rights! I do not know why there is no Google Doodle for this, I really don't. If you aren't familiar with the Library Bill of Rights, go read them!Supreme Court hands down decisi…

Your Privacy - Your Call



Libraries, Books, & Authors:The Presumptions Policies and Practices that Prevent Digital and Information Literacy Learning in the ClassroomDaniel Keyes, author of Flowers for Algernon - one of the hardest books I've ever read, emotionally, and also one of the best - has died. From 'The Magic Tree House,' Kids Branch Out To Chapter Books Coconut is going through this series now, and loves it! He's also reading each nonfiction "fact tracker" book along with the novels! I adore The Magic Tree House series. Net & Tech:Former FCC chair: This net neutrality debate is only about Netflix's profits I swear I am not a Netflix stooge, guys. Really. I don't even use Netflix. Related: Verizon says it needs to kill net neutrality to help the disabled Which really doesn't make any sense whatsoever. How is slowing down my Internet connection helping to speed up anyone else's connection? It really, real…

Just Links

/Rant On

Today was frustrating.
I've been trying to get in touch with the right person at the right organization for a special project I'm working on. The project itself is neat and interesting and, sadly, incidental to today's post, so I'll put my discussion of it on hold for another day.
No, today, I want to talk about website maintenance.
The particular organization I'm currently trying to make contact with has a website. It's an attractive website, and generally navigable. I'm sure, when it was put together, it was great. And it's still pretty. But the contact links are defunct, now - I assume that whoever the email originally went to has left the organization and the link hasn't been updated. Worse yet, the wording of the link isn't the same as the email address it links to, and neither are correct.
I don't want to mention the organization specifically, but I do want to give an example, so the following email addresses are, to the best of my kn…

Cable Company Craziness & Manga Madness

Nation’s Cable Companies Announce They’re Just Going To Take $100 From Everyone

Okay, okay, that was from The Onion, and is all satirical. But the true stories coming out lately are...well, almost as unbelievable: Cable companies are reportedly funding fake consumer groups to attack net neutralityCable companies duped community groups into fighting net neutrality Yes, ISPs are having a hard time finding anyone to actually support the end of net neutrality, so...they're making groups up. Or tricking groups into signing on. Or, you know, faking their signatures.
This is not how it's supposed to work! Cable companies have the money to push through what they want, generally speaking, but Americans have been so loud about restoring and protecting net neutrality that we're hard to ignore - so ISPs are fighting back with well-financed deception. We just have to speak up louder! If you haven't done so yet, contact the FCC directly and let them know how important net neutrality i…

Thai News - It's Not Pretty

The Thai military junta, currently in charge and showing few signs of actually handing power over to a democratically elected government, is pretty horrible.
Human rights essential to reconciliation in wake of Thailand political crisis – UN expertsThailand’s Military Government Votes ‘Yes’ On Forced LaborThailand: Halt Military Trials, End Arbitrary ArrestsThailand coup: Army detains influential criticsThailand: Rights in ‘Free Fall’ After CoupThai junta warns: 'Hunger Games' salute illegal

The United States is concerned - our nation has suspended one-third of its military aid (and is considering cutting more aid), as well as advising American citizens away from travel in the country; in addition,the U.S. may blacklist Thailand over allegations of slave labor in prawn production.

Libraries, Books, & Authors:New Orleans librarian, Laurence Copel, wins $3,000 prizePensacola Principal Cancels Little Brother Summer Reading Program Related: Florida School’s Cancelling Litt…

One of Those Days

Today was...not the best day. For one thing, I cannot think of a single situation in which it would be acceptable to leave a used condom in the stacks. Not one.

For another thing, no one should ever look in the staff refrigerator and say, "Oh, hey, there's a can of Coke here with someone else's name on it. Must be free to good home, then!"

I want to think the best of people. And, honestly, at least whoever left the condom - well, I'm glad they were practicing safe sex. They've got life lessons to learn still, obviously, but at least they aren't entirely irresponsible. But the person who stole my Coke - nope, that's just wrong. It's disgusting, frankly.

But I came home to my Redditgifts Arbitrary Day present, so that made it all better.


Libraries, Books, & Authors:Automatic Renewals at the Columbus Metropolitan Library Huh. That's a thought.Secrets of the Stacks How libraries decide which books to keep—and which don’t stand the test o…

Just Links