Down with Elsevier!

February 12, 2004 | Comments (0)

Cornell is dropping several hundred Elsevier subscriptions, a move that Elsevier (of course) is downplaying. Cornell’s deal with Elsevier is still costing them $1.7 million and consumes a fifth of the university’s total periodical budget. To me, that is still insane. Other universities are expected to follow suit, some cancelling Elsevier subscriptions altogether. I say, good for them. Elsevier has abused its monopoly on scientific journals for a long time, and is a prime reason the open source journal movement has really taken off. Shame on them for being so greedy–they deserve to lose customers, and money.
If you’re interested in how online and print publication prices have spiraled out of control, check out this recent article in the Charleston Advisor. The author writes: “[W]hen we buy journals which cost a lot, we should be able to expect that “a lot” translates into a figure that is not the same thing as “perfectly outrageous.” Good reading.

Geez, two HP posts in a week. You’d think I was a fan or something. Anyway, there’s this great downloadable game (for PCs and Macs) of Harry Potter Trivia. It’s a little slow-moving, but that would be a good thing for kids who don’t read very fast… Or hey, maybe it just seemed slow because of the 4 cups of coffee I have coursing through my veins.

Catwoman Game

February 12, 2004 | Comments (0)

While I still have to be convinced that Halle Berry will make a good Catwoman (I am much attached to the Michelle Pfeiffer version), an Electronic Arts Catwoman game is definitely right up my alley. Will it be ready in time for the Holidays? If so, it’ll be on my list for sure.

Jessamyn’s tongue-in-cheek post about the website for ALA’s accessibility workshop not actually being accessible. Anyone want to organize a massive membership “un-registration” ? I think if it was well-organized we could send a pretty clear message. There are so many things ALA is doing wrong right now…


February 12, 2004 | Comments (0)

Marylaine Block’s Neat New Stuff drew this one to my attention. The ObitsArchive is the “largest and most comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices in the United States.” Searches for some recent obituaries that I know exist were hit or miss, but I was happy with the hits–I think patrons would be too.

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.