Nat Hentoff refused to accept ALA’s Immroth Award (for Intellecual Freedom), based on the fact that ALA would not speak out on behalf of Cuban librarians jailed for making available to Cubans such subversive documents as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and George Orwell’s 1984. Hentoff writes: “I now publicly renounce the Immroth Award and demand that the American Library Association remove me from the list of recipients of that honor. To me, it is no longer an honor.” First, shame on ALA for being so out of touch with what their membership wants. Second, shame on ALA for not speaking out to uphold the values of our profession ourside our national borders.
Indiana University-Bloomington’s Lilly Library has a great online exhibit of miniature books. I got to see some of these in person while visiting the IU campus with my Library School chum, Jane Cronkhite. There’s something about books being itty bitty that makes them cooler somehow.
Joi Ito posted a video clip that has been making the rounds. It is thermal-imaging footage shot on December 1st from a U.S. Apache attack helicopter engaging Iraqis, who were attempting to launch a Stinger missile at the Apache. The Apache responds with force.
Snopes has a posting on the video (they’ve left it “undetermined,” even though ABC News has confirmed its authenticity), which includes additional links to download it. One of Ito’s readers posted an excellent comment–that the continued shooting of a man, after he has been wounded and incapacitated, is a violation of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. What do you think Rumsfeld would say to that?
Don’t watch the video if you are easily affected by disturbing images. I am, and I watched it anyway, mainly because my little brother was stationed in Iraq for several months when the war started, and I am now finding the war much more personalized. Fortunately, he came home safely, but the same can not be said for some of his friends.
This is what war is really about. I know that my readership is (statistically speaking) largely opposed to the war already, but images like this make more of an impact than any stories you hear on the news. In fact, every news network should be showing this clip, to remind people that the war is still going on and people are dying.
A woman Googled her date and found out he was wanted by the FBI for fraud. Some blue-jacketed FBI agents showed up for their scheduled date, and arrested him. So, yes, Google your friends, your enemies, and your potential dates. You can find out some interesting things.
Some high school students in Saratoga, California used a keylogger to capture a teacher’s passwords (which were used later to steal English tests). The students are facing explusion, naturally. But, all serious punishing aside, I can’t help but feel a little jolly. The kids used technology in an innovative way…even if it was for the purposes of cheating. Speaking of which, when I taught Freshman English Composition at Washington State University, I caught half a dozen or so of my students plagiarizing (AKA cheating) over the semesters, and despite my efforts to give the students a big fat zero on the projects, the department wouldn’t back me up. Instead, the kids just got to write the papers over again for a new, penalty-free, grade. One kid even, for a short story assignment, copied the description from the back of a Dances with Wolves video, and tried to pass it off as original fiction. Come on kid, at least pick something a little less well-known. Anyway, I always felt it was bad form for an academic institution to have no penalty for cheating. What kind of work-ethic does that teach our new workforce?
Months ago, I set up a Blogger blog for our Library…a place for patrons to go to stay up to date on what’s happening at the Library, best-selling books, websites, book clubs, blah, blah blah. I had tried several RSS feed-creators, none of which ever worked consistently. But now, Blogger offers free RSS-feeds for all their blogs, even the free ones! And, hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, it actually works!
Amazon’s actually making money! Amazon announced its first ever net profit for 2003 ($35.3 million). Good for them. After the hundreds of little brown boxes from them that show up at my door, it’s good to know that they’re finally making some money off of me.
Ben Cohen, of Ben & Jerry’s fame, has done a brilliant Flash video for TrueMajority, a political advocacy organization. It discusses the budget situation in terms of Oreo cookie stacks, and presents some very good arguments for shifting just a little money (only a few cookies) from our &$#*% military budget over to education, children’s healthcare, and alternative energy. Good job Ben. And your Cherry Garcia ain’t half bad either 😉