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More Proof That The RIAA Is Out To Lunch

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 22:49 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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Many thanks to the tipster (named, we kid you not, Bobby Brown) who sent us this picture from the Consumer Electronics Show, where the RIAA once again proved their digital-era expertise. Either they quickly ran out of pamphlets, or this is their passive-aggressive way of demonstrating how badly they’re doing this year.


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Walking in Walt’s Footsteps

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 22:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

And the Award for Best Closing Sentence in a weblog entry goes to….


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自主映画「手???り?スターウォーズ?

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 22:40 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


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A Librarian’s Lament: Books Are a Hard Sell

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 22:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Typically, many people in my line of work no longer have the title of librarian. They are called media and information specialists, or sometimes librarian technologists. The buzzword in the trade is “information literacy,” a misnomer, because what it is really about is mastering computer skills, not promoting a love of reading and books. These days, librarians measure the quality of returns in data-mining stints. We teach students how to maximize a database search, about successful retrieval rates. What usually gets lost in the scramble is a careful reading of the material.

Students are still checking out the standard research fare — the Thomas Jefferson biography, the volume of literary criticism on Jane Austen — but few read it. The library checks the books back in a day later, after the students have extracted the information vitals — usually an excerpt or two to satisfy the requirement that a certain number of works be cited in their papers.

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I recently spoke with a junior who was stressed about her decreasing ability to focus on anything for longer than two minutes or so. I tried to inspire her by talking about the importance of reading as a way to train the brain. I told her that a good reader develops the same powers of concentration that an athlete or a Buddhist would employ in sport or meditation. “A lot out there is conspiring to distract you,” I said.

She rolled her eyes. “That’s your opinion about books. It doesn’t make it true.” To her, the idea that reading might benefit the mind was, well, lame.

[..]

Recently I stood Charles Dickens’s “Bleak House” next to the DVD version produced by the BBC. Lady Dedlock (Gillian Anderson) graced both covers. A senior fingered the DVD for a minute, then turned it over to read the blurb. “The book is too long,” she said. “Is the movie any better?”

“You’re right. The book is long,” I said. “But once you start this one, you won’t be able to put it down, right from that first page about the London fog.”

“I think I’ll watch the DVD,” the student said.

And in my library ledger, I’ll register this as a sale.


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Public Service Announcement

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 21:30 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

My friends, I am writing to warn you of a very dangerous game that many of you or your loved ones may intend to play this Tuesday. This is a very serious matter; many people could die because they simply aren’t aware how much the situation has changed. I am speaking, of course, of the State of the Union drinking game. While this is a favorite pastime in America it has never been completely safe to drink whenever you catch a politician lying. This year, however, there are expected to be an unprecedented number of lies, fabrications, omissions of truth, revisions of history, misuses of statistics, and the complete denial of the world situation. Players who typically drink after each lie need to be aware that alcohol poisoning can lead to death at over .4% blood alcohol content. (For comparison, the legal limit to drive is .08% in some states.) This Tuesday’s State of the Union will address, among other things, the Iraq war and global warming. Even conservative estimates predict that unseasoned drinkers could be killed within the first hour of the State of the Union address. As you can see, matters are grave within the State of the Union. I urge you to join with me in encouraging at least a ten lies to one drink revision in the drinking game. Don’t let your death be added to those the current administration is already responsible for.


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Worth the 5am start

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 20:22 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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A Police Officer walking past two of the shipping containers washed up on the beach at Branscombe, Devon following the beaching of the cargo ship MSC Napoli after it was holed during storms on Sunday, 21st January 2007. The ship is carrying almost 2,400 containers, about 150 of which are said to hold hazardous chemical substances. The drifting vessel was being towed to Portland Harbour in Dorset for a salvage operation, but the Maritime and Coastguard Agency decided to beach it in Lyme Bay, near Sidmouth, instead, following the structural failure. The area is a World Heritage Site and also known as the Jurassic Coast.

Plenty more stunning pictures in his photostream


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Busy

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 14:27 by John Sinteur in category: News

There’s not much posting going on today – nor the rest of the week. I’ll be on the exhibition floor of the largest dutch educational fair…


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Sign

Posted on January 23rd, 2007 at 6:37 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture, Pastafarian News

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