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Showing posts from June, 2015

Lamentations

In Plato's Allegory of the Cave, the individual who encounters reality is driven to help those still imprisoned in their delusions. He reenters the cave and tries to save others - but they not only refuse to leave, they turn and attack the one who would help them. 
I suppose that makes him an idiot for going back, right? 
I tend to think of myself as a relatively cynical person. I'd like to expect the best of people, but I don't. I expect people to be greedy, self-interested asshats. Most of the time, it isn't even a matter of people being actively hateful or purposefully hurting others - it's just that people are more interested in securing their own petty desires than in helping others. Sure, it might be a bitter laugh-off, but what else should I expect?
And then there are times like this past week when I am genuinely devastated by people's asshatness, and I realize I'm not so cynical after all - I actually do expect people to be decent, which is why I&#…

Juneteenth

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Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day



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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeHiring: The First Librarian of Congress for the Internet Age "Though named by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Librarian doesn’t change with every new White House. After being appointed, Librarians are free to serve as long as they want—that’s why there have been only 13 of them since 1802.  In other words, this will be the first time a new Librarian has been appointed since the invention of the web."CBLDF Joins Coalition Defending The Kite Runner in North Carolina School DistrictEgypt Cracks Down on Street Art "In June 2010, about eight months before the Tahrir Square uprising, a 28-year-old Egyptian blogger named Khaled Said was arrested and beaten to death after he posted a damning video that allegedly showed police helping themselves to the spoils of a drug bust. In the tumultuous months that followed, Said’s face became a potent symbol …

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No Excuses

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Newslo has won my heart. Now, there's no excuse for falling for their satire - they have a handy "Show Facts" button that will highlight the factual information. Anything not highlighted? Satire.


Very, very handy.


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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeThis is going to be particularly interesting for librarians, and maybe interesting only for librarians, honestly: How Do Users Search and Discover?Library Youth and Tech Leaders on the Hill: We Build a Bridge Between Knowledge and PassionALA Questions Bid for Independent Copyright OfficeAt-home libraries still popular for homeownersItalian-Americans outraged over Capone books in NYC schoolsTackling a mountain of books with local hands "If someone had told me three months ago that the hundreds of thousands of books I saw sitting unused and going to waste in the basement of Philadelphia School District headquarters would by now be almost fully catalogued, ready to be shipped to the kids who need them, I probably…

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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeAcademic publishers reap huge profits as libraries go brokeYou probably remember my rant the other day over this: Student protests graphic novels by Gaiman and Bechdel as 'garbage'. Good news! College declines student’s request to ban ‘Persepolis,’ ‘Sandman’ In the first article I linked, though, I found one section interesting - "Shultz, 20, was joined in the protest by her parents. Her father, Greg Shultz, said, 'If they [had] put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn’t have taken the course.'" "We" - really? Is the dad enrolled in the class, too? The student is 20 years old - I have to ask again, why are her parents involved in this at all? And the prof now has to provide a "content warning" on his class. Why don't we just slap one on higher education entirely? "Warning: The Contents of This Education (If Done Right) Will Make You Think - and May Be Hazardous to Your Preconceived Notions…

Surprise, Surprise...

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Well, okay, it wasn't really a surprise.

Although it says 90%, after looking at the answers, there was only one issue we actually disagreed on, and that's one where my opinion is complicated. So, I suppose I have a bumper sticker to buy? (And maybe a coffee mug...)

Want to take the quiz? I'd be interested in the results! If you're going to vote for Bernie, you should learn how and when to vote for Bernie in the primaries!


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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeIt's time for America to give libraries the money they need and deserveCharacter education: Complaint about “The Kite Runner” raises First Amendment issuesJune 15, 1300: Dante is named prior of FlorenceJune 15, 1215: Magna Carta sealedTPPWhy the Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Nearly Dead "If the American economy continues to create a few big winners and many who feel like losers by comparison, opposition to free trade won’t be the only casualty.   Losers are likely to find many other ways to say &…

Links! But With Attached Rants, So...

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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeCrafton Hills College student, parents protest material in graphic novels English course I am going to try to discuss this without cussing. It's bad enough when you see this sort of thing in middle and high schools, but college? Why is a 20 year old English major unwilling to engage with literature - and who is going to deny that Persepolis is not only good literature but highly relevant to societal conversation today? Why are her parents involved at all? She's a grown-ass woman, why the hell is this a thing? (Well, there's the cussing...) If she doesn't want to actually study literature, she should switch to something less "offensive." I don't know what that'd be, though - I don't know how you get a real liberal arts education (which, I feel it's important to stress, was intended to provide a person with the information and skills considered necessary to be worthy of freedom and engagement in civ…

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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeWho Will Be Appointed as Next Librarian of Congress? Related: Full Text Statement: Librarian of Congress James Billington Announces RetirementSt. Helena Library Director Jennifer Baker fired This is the craziest situation...not even lying...FTRF announces five Banned Books Week grants for 2015 via Judith Krug FundParent Group Pressures Florida School District to Ban Four BooksChina Bans Anime and Manga from the InternetJune 12, 1942: Anne Frank receives a diary“No Books, No Book Fair,” Says Publisher of Banned BooksPettus: Let’s throw the book at censors "In reality, the repressive forces of Tom-ness usually triumph over society’s nonconforming Flips. But 'On Cherry Street' offers hope that, if you have the courage of your convictions, a just people will sing your praises in the end.  And an intolerant worl'’s slow, dribbling flow back to the sewer is, for a while, stemmed."Introducing kids to medieval manuscriptsDon…

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On Your Privacy and Government Surveillance:Senate Leaders Rush End-Run on Personal Privacy "Apparently Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) learned nothing from the overwhelming outpouring of opposition to the worst of the USA PATRIOT Act earlier this month. They're using the Senate Rules to try to ram through – as early as tomorrow – privacy-hostile legislation that’s received no public hearing or Senate floor debate as an amendment to a Department of Defense funding measure. The bill, innocuously dubbed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act ('CISA'), would expose enormous amounts of your personal data to federal, state, and even local law enforcement … without a warrant. Along with many coalition partners, ALA strongly opposed CISA in a letter to Senate leaders last March." More from the ALA:  "We knew when the USA FREEDOM Act passed earlier this month that there would be much mor…

It's an Iced Tea Kind of Day

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Happy National Iced Tea Day!
As American As Iced Tea: A Brief, Sometimes Boozy History
(Am I the only one who thinks this ought to be an official, recognized holiday in the South?)
Although I drink a lot of hot tea, as well, Southern sweet iced tea (by which I mean "might as well be drinking liquid sugar") is a staple, especially in the summer. And, no, it's not technically summer yet - but it is getting awfully warm. 


Links! Libraries, Books, Authors, & SuchlikeNSA surveillance: how librarians have been on the front line to protect privacyCelebrities and Authors Sign a Letter to Advocate For New York’s LibrariesEDITORIAL: Library funding important as educational resource to Pa. families Not just Pa. families, either. After Nearly 30 Years, Librarian Of Congress Is Calling It Quits "President Obama will have the opportunity to nominate Billington's replacement, which is subject to Senate confirmation." I hope they pick a librarian. Juan Felipe Herrera Named …

Lots o' Links...

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Libraries, Books, Writers, & SuchlikeIs That Man Carrying A Lobster? The Illusion of Perception "...[W]hile we librarians pride ourselves on drilling down to locate more complete information, those people who support and affect funding libraries often just see the headline or the first paragraph of a story and get misleading information. It’s not breaking news but it continues to be our responsibility to keep our constituency in the know. As Janice Del Negro stated in her recent 2015 Follett lecture, 'When we let other people tell our story, they get it wrong almost every time.'"What Google’s Algorithm Change Means for Library WebsitesCopy of original Star Wars script discovered in UNB libraryIs Reading the New Therapy?27 Seriously Underrated Books Every Book Lover Should Read In case you're looking for a good book to read...Why The Clinton Foundation Wants More Parents To Read To Kids At LaundromatsNet & TechThe Tempescope is an Ambient Weather Dev…

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