Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 17, 2014 - 10:46am
In 1859, a solar storm threw an electromagnetic pulse at Earth so strong, it fried the telegraph system. A whole lot more is on the line now. Bob speaks with Rocky Rawlins of the Survivor Library about his preparations for getting zapped back to a time before computers and an electric grid.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 17, 2014 - 10:27am
Some of the biggest names in American agriculture, ranging from farmers' organizations to private companies like Monsanto and DuPont, have agreed on principles governing the use of data collected from farms.
That data increasingly drives farm operations. Tractors and combines carry sensors that record — and upload to the data "cloud" — what happens on each spot of a farmer's field, from how much fertilizer and seed it received to how much grain it produced to what type of soil is found there. That data, once analyzed, guides decisions about what seeds a farmer will plant.
Top agribusiness companies, including Monsanto, DuPont, John Deere and Dow, have moved into the information business, offering to help farmers collect that data and analyze it — for a price.
But some farmers are starting to worry about how that data will be used; whether, for instance, details of their operations will be open for all to see. Others wonder how the data companies will exploit their new-found ability to monitor what's happening on vast tracts of farmland.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 16, 2014 - 6:31pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 16, 2014 - 5:56pm
Submitted by birdie on November 14, 2014 - 11:36am
As the new director at the Sitka AK library, Robb Farmer has lots of new ideas.
Farmer spent the last nine years at the Faulkner University Law Library in Alabama. He’s a lawyer himself, but says he enjoyed legal research more than the actual practice of law, and he found a way to stay in the library full-time.
But he was looking at the American Library Association job listings recently, and saw an unusual submission. Allowed only five keywords to help guide applicants, someone had posted…
“Best, Library, Director, Job, Ever”
Farmer had never seen or heard of Sitka. He checked out the listing. Of course, Sitka is spectacular. Those keywords, though, spoke volumes.
“It showed they had a sense of humor. When working in law schools and academia, sometimes they appreciate a sense of humor, but sometimes they don’t.”
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 13, 2014 - 3:36pm
Soon after turning out the latest James Bond novel, British author William Boyd agreed to write another thriller based on a world famous brand.
The Land Rover.
Boyd's nearly 17,000-word story, "The Vanishing Game," coming out Wednesday as a free download through Amazon.com, Apple and www.thevanishinggame.com , tells of a 35-year-old British actor named Alec Dunbar and the troubles he encounters when a pretty young woman convinces him to deliver a flask filled with clear liquid from London to Scotland. His transport is a certain four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Boyd, paid in the low six figures for the project, said he signed on because Land Rover made so few requests.
"They said they wanted an adventure and they said, 'Somewhere in this adventure it would be good if a Land Rover appeared.' But it was left entirely to me the extent I concentrated on that or made it fleeing and passing," the 62-year-old Britain-based author said during a recent telephone interview.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 13, 2014 - 3:25pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 13, 2014 - 10:18am
Linnea Wolters was prepared to hate the Common Core State Standards.
She taught fifth grade at a low-income school in Reno, Nev., where, she says, there was always some new plan to improve things. And none of it added up to good education. But, after leading her class through a Core-aligned lesson — a close reading of Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" — she was intrigued, especially by the way different students reacted to the process.
Part 2 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 12, 2014 - 11:10pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 12, 2014 - 7:08pm
I remember a song lyric from the early 70s for which the opening line was: “we don’t need more sailors, we need a captain”. (I can’t find the reference in LyricFind and I don’t remember the name of the band.) That song could be about the new publishing that is arising from the phenomenon of “atomization”, books that could come from just about anybody anywhere (that’s the “we”). They are supported by “unbundling”, the availability of just about every service required (those are the “sailors”) in the complex task of publishing books.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 11, 2014 - 10:46pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 11, 2014 - 11:36am
Jon Krakauer's 1996 book Into the Wild delved into the riveting story of Chris McCandless, a 24-year-old man from an affluent family outside Washington, D.C. who graduated with honors from Emory, then gave away the bulk of his money, burned the rest and severed all ties with his family. After tramping around the country for nearly two years, he headed into the Alaska wilderness in April, 1992. His emaciated body was found a little over four months later.
Krakauer's book struck a nerve with readers. But he never fully answered what motivated McCandless's ascetic renunciation, and the book drew scores of letters accusing him of arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness.
In a fascinating 2013 followup article in The New Yorker, Krakauer finally confirmed the cause of McCandless's death: A toxic amino acid in wild potato seeds, previously thought to be benign. He hoped that the new findings would squelch some of those accusations.
Now Chris's younger sister, Carine McCandless, 21 at the time of her brother's death, has come out with The Wild Truth, which tells a story as poisonous as wild potato seeds. Her memoir reveals what Chris was running from — and should lay to rest allegations that her brother's behavior was cruel to their parents.
Full piece here:
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 8, 2014 - 7:52pm
A hip-hop pioneer was stunned to learn that his 1984 song “Roxanne, Roxanne” was at the center of an explosive legal war between a pair of Long Island library staffers.
“Before, we had to worry about mediating hip-hop beefs in the streets,” Kangol Kid told The Post. “Now, we have to worry about them in libraries. That’s crazy.”
Riverhead Free Library director Joy Rankin allegedly told underlings to only hire black and Latino job applicants to right historical wrongs committed against them, according to a lawsuit.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 8, 2014 - 7:46pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 6, 2014 - 8:10pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 6, 2014 - 1:41pm
Of all the school staff cuts announced last spring, the elimination of the Lawrence School’s librarian raised the largest public outcry. At the time, principal Mary W. Gans vowed she and her staff would devise a plan for keeping the library open for student use. “The library is not closing,” she said.
At the start of the school year, a solution was found in moving the in-school suspension assistant Angela T. Woodward into the library. The library is now Ms. Woodward’s office. She sits at the circulation desk while she manages school discipline paperwork and scheduling.
Ms. Woodward was trained in the library’s computer and catalogue system at the start of the year by the librarian from the Morse Pond School. She checks out books, hands out late notices, arranges display books and manages scheduling for teachers to bring classes in for research.
“It’s not ideal, because we don’t have a certified librarian,” Ms. Gans said. “But it’s working well. It’s open all day; kids are checking out books.”
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 6, 2014 - 1:39pm
The average internet user who happens upon Survivor Library, a collection of about 7,000 books in PDF format that teach people how to rebuild civilization after the proverbial Collapse, may think it’s just another fear mongering, doomsday prepper site.
“What happens AFTER the Solar Flare that destroys the electrical grid and all electronics?" asked the site's About Us page. "AFTER the other 90% of the population has died from starvation, dehydration and disease. AFTER the roving gangs and raiders are eliminated and local communities form to provide security and relative peace. What Then?”
It’s easy to imagine that people who use this site are the ones that have homemade bunkers and have stocked enough canned goods to feed a family for weeks. But Survivor Library’s founder and administrator, who calls himself “The Librarian,” doesn’t identify himself that way.
Submitted by birdie on November 6, 2014 - 11:58am
Via the Washington Post: A yellowing piece of parchment covered in Latin, the Magna Carta now on view at the Library of Congress is as charming as a tax form. Hey, no one ever said cornerstones of constitutional law and civil liberty had to be pretty.
Magna Carta (experts drop the preceding “the”) got off to a rough start. When King John signed the “Great Charter” in 1215, on a field near London, he had no intention of appeasing its authors, barons who chafed at too-high taxes. But because they’d captured London, the king had no choice, says Nathan Dorn, curator of “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor,” a new exhibit at the Library of Congress.
The barons made at least 41 copies and sent them to every county in England. The document on view is one of four surviving copies; the original is lost.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 3, 2014 - 10:08pm
Information wants to be free. At least that's what Internet activists and many consumers say in support of free online content.
But when we stream a new film online or listen to music on Spotify, we don't always consider — or care about — the artists who are losing out.
The debates over intellectual property, copyright and traditional ideas of enforcement have been hot topics of late. The fall of Napster in the late '90s and the current battle between publisher Hachette and Amazon show that copyright law needs to be rewritten to fit digital standards.
In his new book, Information Doesn't Want To Be Free: Laws For The Internet Age, author Cory Doctorow argues that creators can make money even when their content is available online free of charge. For creators to succeed in the digital age, he says, copyright law must be reformed to reflect an age in which tech platforms control content.
Full piece here: http://www.npr.org/2014/11/03/360196476/picking-the-locks-redefining-copyright-law-in-the-di...
Note: In addition to additional text there is a 7 minute audio piece at the NPR site.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 3, 2014 - 11:49am
Sweet 'N Low has sponsored an ebook. The sugar substitute has been worked into the story line in a few places.
More details here.