Faux-news: Librarians allocate new funds

An Anonymous Patron writes "Murray State University President F. King Alexander's announcement that he will donate his raise to the university libraries left university librarians beside themselves. You can read the complete faux news story online at

"We were so excited, we all squealed like a bunch of little girls," Janet Marion, librarian, said.

In this tight budget year, the library is considering some extra purchases like toilet paper and umbrellas to protect students from a leaky roof. And the most spectacular purchase may be a combination copy machine and mechanical bull, which gives a free ride after every 10th copy."


A List of Unread Books

Great Western Dragon writes "Ran across this last night. Unlike most people who post a listing of books they've read, this one is a book list of unread books. Not only that, the writer goes out of his way to explain why the tomes remain unopened. There are always books that we never get around to reading, so this is worth a chuckle."


Google Publishes Print Edition

The world's biggest search engine is now the world's biggest set of reference books.

Joining the roster of megaworks like the 2 by 1.5 meter Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom and Gary Larson's 60-pound The Complete Far Side, Google's 36,795 volumes will be ten times larger than the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary.
Full "Story".


The NewScientist New Scientific Words

And The Winners Are...
NewSceintist readers were invited to invent a new scientific word that we need and define it in an appropriately pompous way.
Winners include, Coyotus Interruptus, Demiverse, and Encyclopediatrician: " A person dealing
with the knowledge of all branches of children's stuff.


Stupid URL tricks

I'll bet the Library of Congress never intended to put THIS on their web page.

How is it done? The funny-looking codes at the end of the URL spell out the subversive message. You can use an obfuscator to create these codes.

Lesson for library webmasters: scripts that accept input from URLs or forms (even hidden forms) must not blindly use that input. Check your input before using it!


Researchers Call for "Medically Sound" Nursery Rhymes

A team of researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have written a tongue-in-cheek research paper decrying the serious injuries sustained in nursery rhymes. "Particularly egregious were the injuries presumably sustained by Ten Little Monkeys, who begin the rhyme jumping on a bed." (If you don't know what happens after that, it's grim stuff indeed). The mock paper calls for legislation and "medically sound" nursery rhymes for today's children. More here from Reuters. What strikes me is that this story shows up on Reuters News page and BBC as straight-up news. And here's another archived fairy tale story, Russian Tots Amused by Sots.


Haiku Cereal Boxes Left to College Library

There have been things I've seen on the internet that I desperately wanted to be true, like the picture of Bush holding the children's book upside down. This is another story that slipped past my critical radar for a brief second, until I noticed the following disclaimer:
"The Watley Review is dedicated to the production of articles completely without journalistic merit or factual basis."
With that, I present the following Onion-esque story.
Expresses bald disbelief
Wants it to be true


How to Get the 18-34 y.o. Set to Read

Anonymous Patron shares "This goofy, but astute piece from the Dallas Observer about how to target-market print materials to young adults. (Not like teens, but real adults who are young. Is that group still called Gen X, or are they post-Gen X?)"


Dead Presidential Wives Head up Fake Historical Society

This weird little blurb showed up in Library Journal's People section:

"Varina Howell Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln were named joint Directors, John Brown Historical Center and Library, Harpers Ferry, WV."

Kudos to Nann Blaine Hilyard for being such a diligent reader.


A Foil for Sappy Motivational Posters

This catalog, Despair, Inc. has been making the rounds in our office. Looks like it's been around for awhile, but it's the first time I've seen it.



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