Category Archives: Geeking Out

Like Cat Stephens, I can’t keep it in.

Hello fair readers!

I hope your Vernal Equinox and your potential Easter celebrations went smooth and hopefully with much less snow than mine did.

(photo taken by Yenna, posted on Flickr with the tag “Winter sucks”…I agree)

But all this winter snow in Spring has given me some time to stew and grow more and more annoyed with this article:

Our Public Libraries Are Being Turned Into Video Arcades

and the fuddy duddy librarians who are rallying around it, as if this was a good point.

I would like to take one particular response to the article and break it down into it’s ridiculous components. Why you ask? Because it’s sad. And angering. And wrong.

Posted by anonymous in response to the LISNews blog about the article:

this is just part of the problem with public libraries since they forgot what they were in the early nineties, and decided to become this hybrid amazon.com/barnes and noble/arcade/rec center ordeal that we have now. I am a young adult librarian and soon we will be losing ref desks for kiosks so that we are encouraged to wander around and bother the patrons ala target employees. this is sad. the video game aspect, while i don’t agree with it, isn’t the libraries fault. we have books here. we just have adult and children too stupid to read them now.
Wow. Just wow. That’s right people. Librarians like that actually still exist. Sad, yes?Let’s debunk that statement.

“this is just part of the problem with public libraries since they forgot what they were in the early nineties”

What is a library? According to the free online dictionary:

li·brar·y

(lbrr)

n. pl. li·brar·ies

1.

a. A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending.
b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged.
c. A room in a private home for such a collection.
d. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection.
2. A commercial establishment that lends books for a fee.
3. A series or set of books issued by a publisher.
4. A collection of recorded data or tapes arranged for ease of use.
5. A set of things similar to a library in appearance, function, or organization: a library of computer programs.
6. Genetics A collection of cloned DNA sequences whose location and identity can be established by mapping the genome of a particular organism.
So there’s a definition. But truly, a library is what a community makes of it. A library can be as big, or as small, as the school, city, business or organization it serves provides it to be.
So libraries can be this:
But libraries can also be this:
(this picture was taken by The Shifted Librarian at DOK Delft, one of the hippest libraries in the world)
Needless to say a library, a building, an inanimate object, does not forget what it is. A community, a school….people change it when they see a need for change.
Back to the hater:
“and decided to become this hybrid amazon.com/barnes and noble/arcade/rec center ordeal that we have now”
This comment implies that a library cannot change to keep up to date with the times. That a book-store style of library, or a library catalog that has pictures and words that everyone understands in it….are bad things. Let me direct you back to a blog I posted about librarian stereotypes. If change does not occur, if keeping up to date with modern trends…not just in libraries but in the whole world
If these things do not occur, then it is logical that the entity will cease to exist. I recommend this poster reads a little something called The Origin of the Species by means of natural selection by Charles Darwin. Check out the bit on survivial of the fittest. Apply.
Let’s continue:
“I am a young adult librarian”
Really? Well that’s quite a surprise. Because most teen librarians that I know…totally rock.
“and soon we will be losing ref desks for kiosks so that we are encouraged to wander around and bother the patrons ala target employees”
First, Target employees certainly do not walk around bothering people…or even asking if you need help. They are few and far between. And would it really be so bad to get rid of those awful reference desks that scare the bejeezes out of most patrons? Wandering around and asking people for help…well that’s just helpful. Not bothersome.
“this is sad. the video game aspect, while i don’t agree with it, isn’t the libraries fault. we have books here. we just have adult and children too stupid to read them now
As soon as I read that sentence…well it took every bone in my librarian body to not pick up a volume of the OED and chuck it across the reference section.
And no, the typo in the sentence does not make it any better.
Talk about a total loss of hope.
Not just in libraries…or even librarians…but humanity as a whole.
It’s sad.
So I suggest to reading this to cleanse your palate of that awful taste of bitter librarian:
It’s much more useful than calling someone stupid….which as librarians we should all know….is just no excuse for poor service.
Have a lovely week, fair readers! And do yourself a favor, play some video games. :)

Sincere Apologies.

Dear fair readers,

My sincerest apologies for my severe lack of posting in the past week or two. I know that excuses are no excuse, but what can I say? My to do list is catching up with me.

This week alone I have one presentation on Hoover’s, another for Humanities class on Scientology, a paper on privacy for my Info Policy class, one phone interview for a job, and one second interview for a different job.

Oy vey!

So, you might wonder, what am I doing to keep completely sane?

Oh Nintendo DS Lite! Your accessibly simple, yet educational gaming saves my sanity every time!The Nintendo DS has oodles of educational games that you can pick up, play for 30 minutes or so, and then go back to whatever things you really should be doing atm. My current favorite is My French Coach.

Through a series of games and quizzes and an excellent “coach”, I can refresh my memory of all those lovely high school french classes with Mdm. Roselle.

So next time someone tells you that video games rot your brain, tell them to bugger off in french. (Va t’en! Tu es tres stupide!) Or your could tell them to read up on their Jenny Levine. She’ll tell them what’s up. :)

So again, my apologies fair readers. If you need something to do, I recommend gaming. It’s good for your brain.

Happy Monday!

Free legal resources? Really?

Hello fair readers!

Yes, it is Friday night. I know. But I have to work all day tomorrow. So what am I doing with my time?

That’s right. Go ahead. Laugh.

But seriously, I have discovered, with a wee bit of help from friends and blogs, two uber cool and free legal research tools.

That’s right. FREE. A word that doesn’t commonly come joined with the words “legal” and “research” very often.

That’s because of these two culprits

for the most part. And not that those publishers are by any means evil…at least…I don’t think so. They just charge oodles of cash for access to legal information.

So, as you can see, I was pretty psyched when I found out about these free websites that are actually quite progressive and efficient.

The first, and probably my favourite of the two, is PreCYdent Search Engine.

So. Freaking. Cool.

You can search for opinions and statutes, and then you can rate them, tag them, create PreCYdent widgets, put a PreCYdent facebook application on your facebook page….and lots of super cool 2.0-ish tools that are usually just not connected with legal resources.

The second, also free and cool, resource is The Public Library of Law.

This has LOADS of great, easy to locate info. Case law, statues, regulations, court rules, and omg even legal forms. I’m about to pass out….seriously.

I highly recommend librarians, particularly in public libraries, check out these amazing resources. The will be great tools for members of the public to start off their legal research. They are easily searched and don’t have hidden fees…at least not that I have encountered. It’s refreshing to see the legal research world opening up to 2.0 concepts.

I have said this before, but I will always say it again…three cheers for progress!

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Now I’m hungry

Hello fair readers!

While listening to NPR this morning, a show came on that I find rather amusing. It’s called Sound Opinions. This is basically a show where two music geeks talk about…well…music.

duh

And today they had Anthony Bourdain on the show

to talk about the connections between food and music. It was a great show, which I highly recommend you check out, but they listed off some of their favorite songs about food. I found this inspiring.

They listed off some of the following:

I want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

Tupelo Honey – Van Morrison

and Cinnamon Girl – Neil Young

While listening to this I became inspired and thought I would share with you….aren’t you lucky….some of my own very favorite songs about food.

My first thought immediatly went to Yo La Tengo…because they are gods…but also because when I saw them live

which was awesome beyond belief, they told the hot chicken story, which basically revolves are a little place in Nashville called Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, where they apparently have the hottest chicken Yo La Tengo hates to love. They claimed that you have to eat the chicken because it’s so delicious but it’s so damn hot, that you get sick for days. So yes, my first song about food that I love is:

Return to Hot Chicken – Yo La Tengo

Then my mind went straight to Cibo Matto

because they have tons of fantastic songs about food…which also makes it hard to choose just one. :( Life is so unfair. So I went with

Sugar Water – Cibo Matto

for several reasons. One: used in a Buffy episode. And two: the video rocks socks.

Directed by Michel Gondry

And finally I thought about Feist

mainly because one of my, hands down, favorite songs from 2007 is the gorgeous

Brandy Alexander – Feist

So those are mine. There are so many and these are just a few of my favorites. But I’m interested to see what others think.

Do you have a favorite song about food?

Have a lovely weekend fair readers.

Never took Physics.

Hello fair readers!

Today I stumbled upon a very cool thing while drinking my morning coffee and avoiding thinking about my demolished vehicle….

that’s right…broken beyond repair. But I digress….

The cool thing involves some geeky science people, very unlike the very large SUV that slammed into the side of my tiny, gas efficient vehicle. No, it involves a renowned school and some Science Professors at MIT.

and it also involves this article:

At 71, Physics Professor Is a Web Star

So this morning while I was drinking my morning coffee, I was doing the usual. Reading headlines from the New York Times Online and up pops the previously mentioned headline. Right away it caught my interest since I’ve always had a secret envy of people with Science backgrounds. Instead I choose the mighty path of a Lit major….mighty. That’s right.

Anyways, this article lead me straight to MIT’s new(ish) project of OpenCourseWare. This prostegious instituion is now offering course materials online, for free, including videos of lecturers and lecture notes. Not only could I have really used this in Undergrad (come on WMU! Catch up!) but how cool is this for the general public?

That’s right. It’s almost as cool as this picture of the Penny Arcade boys battling robots….which is just really really cool. But also means that in this really geeky, I-wish-I-had-taken-more-science-classes kind of way, it’s ridiculously awesome.

So check out OpenCourseWare, bringing high education to masses. And those of us who were too busy with musical theater in highschool to give AP Physics too much thought.

Sigh. Those were the days.

Have a lovely Wednesday fair readers. And watch out for speeding Jeeps. They just might ruin your car.

Coping Strategies

Hello fair readers!

As November is upon us, I am beginning to turn my thoughts to winter. As many of you know, Chicago is right on the edge of the Central time zone. What does this mean you might ask?

It means Chicago goes from day to night at around….4pm.

And truly, Chicago in the winter, in the dark is beauty.

But this doesn’t take from the fact that the majority of our days for the next fews months will be spent in darkness.

So I have been thinking long and hard about how I will get through this winter. Since last winter, my first Chicago winter, I simply hid in my house playing MMORPGs. In small doses this would have been fine. But I think anyone who has played Lineage 2 can tell you that a “small dose” is very difficult to manage and one usually ends up online for anywhere from 4-12 hours a day.

Not healthy?

I think so.

So this winter I am determined to find better coping strategies. Does this mean I’m ruling video games out as an option?

Absolutely not.

Just less addictive video games. And ones that don’t involve needing to spend many hours a day grinding. (ugh. any online gamer will know and hate that term)

Besides some simple gaming, here are the tools that will help me get through the winter.

Crochet

That, dear readers, is my winter project. It will eventually become a blanket. As previously blogged, I had been knitting. However I’ve switched over to crochet for this project. Maybe it’s because I find the act of switching colors simpler with crochet? I’m not sure. But the decision has been made. And my project is underway.

A Sewing Machine

Honestly…I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with this. But now I have it. It’s a very viable option for winter entertainment. Right?

Finally I’m going to pursue this whole cooking thing.

Last New Year’s I made several resolutions. One of them was to cook more. Finally I’m actually doing this. But now I’m no longer eating meat. So cooking had become quite interesting. Adventures recently include Egg Salad, Southwestern Bean Soup, and cupcakes

which is baking…I know!….but I’m working on it. ;)

Anyways, if anyone has any other suggestions for getting through the long winter months I would love to hear them. As much as I adore the winter season

in all it’s splendor and beauty

I also like to keep my sanity.

Enjoy the dying days of Autumn, fair readers. I know I will.

Jelly babies and Mutant Genetics

Anyone who knows me understands I have a deep geeky love for sci-fi/fantasy television. Especially if it’s British

Red Dwarf is cooler than you.

but it certainly doesn’t have to be.

So recently I’ve been devouring some things off my netflix list that are definetly in the sci-fi/fantasy section.

Sidenote: Netflix is yet another topic I can totally geek out on. When I speak of it, I usually end of sounding like a big advert, so I’ll try to spare you. Let’s just say it is simply the only way to watch movies. And leave it at that.

Like I was saying, I’ve been super into a few series on my queue recently and I thought I would share. Because sharing is fun!

Yay!

First: Doctor Who season 1, 2005 version

Brilliant. Completely brilliant. And I can’t believe it has taken me so long to watch this. I’ve always been a very big fan of Doctor Who and if you don’t know who or what that is, then watch this:

There are many many Doctors and the series is one, and perhaps is the, longest running Science Fiction series. With multiple doctors, some for better

best doctor ever

and some for…well worse isn’t really a fair descriptor. Let’s just say, some for the not quite as good as the Tom Baker years

But the newer Doctors are definitely amazing. Do the job justice. Well done. Go rent it.

The second series I’m really super getting into is one I’m sure you have heard of.

Heroes.

It’s almost a little crazy how addicting this show is. It’s pretty melodramatic. Not always the best writing. But damn. Is it entertaining.

So entertaining, that I took it off my Netflix list, dragged my librarian butt to Best Buy, and bought myself my very own copy of Season 1. The quality reminds me highly of Buffy, in that occasionally it’s hokey and not always the best writing ever. But damn it is awesome, and when the writing is good, it’s amazing. And the characters. Those are what make things worth watching right?

So these are the two things that have me totally geeking out recently. Hiding in my house, watching robots and mutants and being content.

Happy Labor Day everyone.