While definitely not a complete listing, this site is a good place to point patrons who are looking for free local area wi-fi spots in cafes, restaurants, coffeeshops, hotels, airports, libraries, malls, etc. Mmmmm, wi fi.

Now that I live in Marin and work for the county government (ahhh, libraries as part of government structure, another issue altogether), the whole mysterious breast cancer phenom in Marin is becoming more interesting to me. This article, oddly posted on Wired News, discusses and links to studies that have already been done, and calls for further studies, as no clear answer has been found. Various studies have said that the increased rates of breast cancer in the county are due to women not having children or waiting until later in life to have children, using hormone replacement therapy, drinking 2 glasses of alcohol a day, or adolescent exposure to local radioactive waste dumps. I’ve also heard that the fog line’s geography relates to where breast cancer rates are highest, and that drinking from plastic bottles may have something to do with the increased cancer rates. This article does point to a lot of the resources available, all in one place. A strange, and disheartening, local phenomenon.

The screenwriters for X2 have agreed to tackle the adaptation of Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. Since X2 rocked (much more than its screen contemporary Matrix: Reloaded), and the Ender series also rocks, I sense a potential double-awesome movie coming our way… I didn’t read the Ender books until college. I wish that someone had suggested them to me when I was young–somehow I think it would have made all the bullying a little easier to bear.

Super-Floppy Keyboard

February 10, 2004 | Comments (3)

Wow, this is cool. The product reviewer even folded the keyboard over a cat, as you can see. And we all know that that is the one true technology test for any librarian ;) I’m considering ordering one, just for kicks. Take a look at URTrend Technology’s website for more cool stuff.

A UK Classics teacher translated the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, into Ancient Greek. It is the longest work to be translated into Ancient Greek in over 1,500 years. Pretty cool.

Play Games For Money

February 10, 2004 | Comments (0)

22-year old Johnathan Wendel is a professional tournament gamer. He estimates that he makes $50K+ each year in tournament winnings. And that doesn’t even count perks like free travel, hardware, and software. If my reflexes last, maybe this will be my new retirement plan…

Wired News reports that the Speech Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory at the University of Southern California is developing a new software program designed to detect callers’ frustration when talking to an automated phone system, and transfer them to a human operator. So, the angrier you are the more likely it is that you will be automatically transferred to a real live human. I guess the new rule of thumb is, get really really loud and angry when you’re talking to one of those automated phone trees.

In a recent study, 71% of people aged 25-44 knew the quote “If only you knew the power of the dark side” came from Darth Vader, but only 10% knew that the Shakespeare quote “Now is the winter of our discontent” came from Richard III. I wish I could say I was surprised, but alas, I cannot. I think I’m allowed to ask this, as someone with two (useless) English degrees: is it really so wrong that people are more familiar with current cultural icons than with those that are considered to be classic and high brow? I’ve read everything Shakespeare ever wrote (or, rather, Edward deVere wrote, if you’re on that side of the “who really wrote it” debate), and honestly, a lot of it didn’t stick with me, especially the history plays. But, after seeing the first three Star Wars movies (episodes 4-6) 50+ times each, those well-crafted script lines have stuck. Come on, who doesn’t remember “Luke, I am your father” followed by the hilarious “Noooooooo!” ? But all that icky quote-unquote Modern English from Shakespeare goes in one ear and out the other. Sad, but true. Now, had I read Richard III or Henry IV 50+ times, perhaps those lines would have stayed in my nonabsorbent mind a little better. But, who wants to read those 50+ times? Oh well. My only hope is that Lucas’s recent travesties of film, AKA Episdoes 1 and 2, do not result with the next generation quoting Jar Jar endlessly… That would truly warrant a Luke-worthy “Noooooooo!”

Hold onto your hats folks, the Patriot Act Game is here! Pick up Protest & Justice cards, and learn about the history of the Act. You can order a copy online for $25 (plus $5 for shipping in the US).

Scoble talks about where Microsoft’s search engine technology is headed in this Search Engine Guide article. The most interesting part of it for me was the discussion of hard drive searching which (Scoble admits) currently sucks. He also discusses blog searching and improved photo searching. Good interview, good information.