Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just a couple things

I was hoping I'd spend less time around my computer this week while my primary online contact is out of the country, but so far that's failed completely. This might have something to do with all the online applications I'm working on, but hey.

In any case, here's a link to Abby (the) Librarian's blog, which recently posted a giveaway of Catching Fire. It's the second part of the Hunger Games trilogy, the premise of which sounds a little silly, but apparently is completely riveting. I figure it's worth a try.

Then, I read an article that introduced me to the concept of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Nöosphere. I think I had heard the word before, but not known the meaning. It's basically a "sphere of human thought", that represents humanity's development into a highly cognitive species. It's also the next step after the biosphere and geosphere concepts. The Noosphere could also be comparable to the blogosphere, the idea that everyone is connected by these ideas and ways of thinking, by the internet, for example. At Princeton, the Noosphere is being studied as a literal global consciousness that has the power to alter elements (specifically random number generation). The data seem show that if enough people are thinking about the same thing, the numbers change slightly, are less random, and deviate from the prediction.
De Chardin envisioned all this coming to resolution at the "omega point", when human thought will reach its pinnacle... and that's pretty much the end of history. What's up with Omega though? Maybe it's just me and Star Trek Voyager, where the Borg hailed Omega particles as the ultimate symbol of perfection, but I know I've seen it elsewhere and am interested in the root meanings that lead to this stuff.

Well, that should be it for now. Not a terribly coherent post, but ah well. More next time, hopefully on eco-guilt and the economy and whatever else is on my mind/reader.

Friday, July 17, 2009


If I was a skilled blog writer, I would have a clever title that wraps up the various subjects in my posts and ties them all in a neat bundle. For example, "Sources" should have the bits I'm going to write, but also something about, I don't know, primary sources, research, reference, wells, genealogy... But it doesn't, so here we are anyway:

I take distinct pleasure in knowing where things come from. Not just that, but having a story of some sort attached to things. It gives them meaning beyond "thing," making me feel a little less guilty about all my material possessions. I tend to buy more when I'm on vacations, because it allows me to come back and say, oh, this skirt/pair of shoes/earrings/etc came from London/Avignon/Greece/etc. Far better than *another* shirt from the Gap. Who doesn't have one of those? It occurred to me as I was making toast this evening that this applies not just to material things, but food as well. My dinner tonight:

Toast: Oatmeal molasses bread I made yesterday from organic ingredients. The recipe came from a baking book I first met while house-sitting my first summer in Marlboro. That was my first time with a kitchen all to myself, and I went a little nuts cooking.. at least when there were people to feed. On the toast is soft goat cheese I bought from a friend in Marlboro the other day, and cinnamon pear jam from Sidehill farm in the Cotton Mill complex in Brattleboro. I discovered them while gallery sitting during the Cotton Mill open house three years ago. They also make a very tasty mango-habenero jam.

Salad: Less of a story here. Some goat feta from the same source in Marlboro, and fresh avocado, pepper, romaine, cucumber from Dutton's farm stand in Brattleboro. I had bicycled to Dutton's earlier this week from a friends house in West Bratt as a trial run for biking in town. I'd say it went fairly well. I just like being able to get somewhere on the bike instead of going for the heck of it all the time. Ah, but the reason I started in on salads at home in the first place goes back... five or six years now, to when I had my first goat cheese salad at the Riverview. Which reminds me, I forgot the cranberries.

*runs off to perform salad modifications*

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Brevity and selection may be hard for me...

Alright, here's a post at last! I've been meaning to write an actual post for a while now, and have a list of subjects to discuss, but what actually spurred me to get all this down was a massive reading list on google reader this morning and a potential library job in my future. So, here's a run down of a few things I found interesting:


Among all the sites on the web that "foster the qualities of 'innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration'" (according to AASL through SLJ) are a few of those that I've recently been prodding. Certainly most of the sites listed are more traditionally educational that Facebook, Google Reader and Twitter, but I appreciate the recognition of alternative learning resources. GReader and Twitter in particular are great for finding and following interesting feeds (and twits, as I like to call them. "tweeting" is just so... cute?). Clicking through links and finding more and more information can be very addictive, as demonstrated by the massive number of tabs I have open continuously.
Also on the subject of internets and social sites, apparently tagging is becoming important as a reader advisory (RA) practice. Being kind of new to this, I don't know much about RA in general, but I'd bet it's a lot about knowing your collection (and beyond) and being able to help patrons (or whoever) find things that are good for them. Apart from *actually* knowing every book you've got, there are always jacket blurbs and being familiar with an author, if not the book specifically, to help with advising on a reading choice. That said, if tagging were to be used on books, it would be.. why, it would be like the subject index in the card catalog. No? Nevertheless, imagine having a tag cloud for your library, like mine, here and having everyone find books they might like through it.
And also in the world of reference and internet and research, credo reference is gathering reference engines and working with IP adresses to make getting access easier. Haven't had a chance to look into it yet, but definitely something to keep in mind.

In my absence from the public library scene, it appears that a new genre has developed. Mostly blamed on the massive trend towards porphyria in fiction, urban fantasy also covers other elements of fantasy in a gritty, reality-based settting. Presumably, this brings the traditional fantasy world closer to home, elevating the believability factor and perhaps making it easy to approach for readers today.

Here's a list of books about, well, books, from Library Journal. I can't say a lot about it because I haven't read them yet, but several will certainly make it to my (epically long) "read right after I've read all these other books" list. Someday, someday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Whoa, Internet spaz-fest

It's always oddly awkward starting a blog. You have to find something enticing to draw people in, not over-do it, don't post every hour, get your formatting decent (without posting about what a hassle that's been)... So here I am, guys.
I'm also here:
Facebook (for RL friends only)