Archive for February, 2005

The Gates are down and soon ibiblio will be unwrapped too.
Reichstag wrapped
Tomorrow the work in the main part of the ibiblio offices will be completed except for cable pulling. There will be work underway in my delightful office tomorrow as well.
Then some time the cable will be pulled. estimated time less than 3 hours for that.
Then we will have our offices completely back.
I asked if they would leave some plastic so’s we could wrap up the office whenever we felt celebratory or pensive it being lent and the time when statues and icons are wrapped, but I wasn’t taken seriously.

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What: Inside Darfur and the Humanitarian Information Centre
When: Tuesday March 1 at 4 pm
Where: Freedom Forum Conference Center, 3rd floor Carroll Hall, UNC
Who: UNC grad and ibiblio alum Mark McCarthy

More about HIC

More about Mark McCarthy

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Beautiful Thoughts
Louis St Lewis is a self-confessed trouble-maker of the delightfully artistic sort. Each Louis art opening is a little event of its own, but today’s opening at Tyndall Galleries was more special than most. For one thing, there was more of Louis’ work and the work is quite different from his collages and his early bone assemblies. But Louis, who was dressed in a sort of old Europe suit with thick pinned tie overdraped by a silk kimono, was in no way subdued. He relishes his status of bad boy in his bio and in his art. This work seems more pleasant to live with than his self-portrait in blood that inspired the Archbishop of Charleston to denounce Louis and to help him garner some serious attention both Good and Evil.
Painted Pony (Grande)
He is still a scavenger and an innovator. Several pieces in this show were drawn on linoleum tile that was pulled up from his studio floor. The textures and colors are so lovely and so appropriate that you do not think floor for even one second.
For more images of Louis’ work at Tyndall’s, go here, but better drop by the Gallery to appreciate the scale of the work.

UPDATE: Sylvia and Jane sent some pictures of the opening for is to enjoy.

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Following the Lego-palooza, we went over to Culbreth Middle School to see Tucker’s classmates perform the Lapine/Sondheim musical “Into the Woods, Junior.” This is a version of the award winning “Into the Woods” which has been “specially adapted for young performers-abridged to 60-80 minutes, with music transposed into keys appropiate for young voices.”
It was a delightful show, well sung and well played. I was left wondering what was abridged from the adult version. With a little research, I found out. The whole second act. The controversial darker and more imagined section. The first act is a confluence of fairy tales which come to a “happy ever after” ending.

We are, now that I think about it, prepared for a post-happy ending act. We have a dead giant in the backyard. We have to impossibly pompous princes newly married. We have a witch who has become young and beautiful, but she has also lost her powers and become estranged from her daughter. And new family beginning. We have the makings of further drama for sure.
The song titles of the second act give you some idea of what’s up (from Sondheim Guide):
# “Prologue: So Happy” – Narrator and Company
# “Agony” (reprise) – Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince
# “Lament” – Witch
# “Any Moment” – Cinderella’s Prince and Baker’s Wife
# “Moments in the Woods” – Baker’s Wife
# “Your Fault” – Baker, Jack, Little Red Ridinghood, Witch, Cinderella
# “Last Midnight” – Witch
# “No More” – Baker and Mysterious Man
# “No One Is Alone” – Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Baker, Jack
# “Finale: Children Will Listen” – Witch and Company
If you read the synoposis of Act Two, you’ll agree it’s pretty Grimm.

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Tucker and I just got back from the first local Lego-palooza at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Pictures later. One thing is certain; the creations of Star Wars craft are better done by local designers than by the kits that come straight from Lego. [sorry the lighting and the camera phone were not a great combination. Most of the images are pretty blurry.]

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One way to keep your neighbors in the dark about your misdeeds even when the police have caught on to you is to buy every newspaper in town. That’s exactly what Jack William Pacheco of Chowchilla, CA did to hide his methamphetamine arrest. Pacheco, who claims he is innocent, bought all available copies of the Chowchilla News. He plans to use the papers “to clean his windows and train his new puppy.” Despite his enterprise, over 550 were delivered to homes in Chowchilla. He bought all store and machine offerings.
Pacheco failed on another front as well; his story is now wide spread thanks to AP.

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2002 2004 January 2005
www+ftp traffic 3 million/day 10+ million/day 12.5+ million/day
data online 1 terabyte 5 terabytes 12 terabytes
www/ftp servers 1 large server 8 server array 30+ in array and in special use
data flow 150 Mbs 250 Mbs 350 – 400 Mbs

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Kathryn Stripling Byer was appointed Poet Laureate of North Carolina yesterday ending a two year vacancy and completing a three way race between James Applewhite, Gerrald Barrax and Byer.

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The French Linux distro, Mandrake, will buy the Brazilian Linux distro, Conectiva, says the trustworthy (usually) Register. Here is the press release from the Mandrake website.
Note: Both distros have been on ibiblio from their beginning and Mandrake has been a contributor (of $$$) to ibiblio in the past.
Slashdot was so excited that they posted the story twice!

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Just now getting the finalists and the winners of the Words of the Year 2004 from the American Dialect Society (Thanks Connie). The votes were taken on January 7, 2005 in Oakland, CA.

Word of the Year

  • red state, blue state, purple state, n., together, a representation of the American political map. 36
  • Nominated:

  • flip-flopper, n, a politician who changes political stances; a waffler. 11
  • mash-up, n., a blend of two songs or albums into a single cohesive musical work. 2
  • meet-up, n., a local special interest meeting organized through a national web site. 2
  • wardrobe malfunction, n., an unanticipated exposure of bodily parts. 19

Most Useful

  • WINNER: phish, v., to acquire passwords or other private information (of an individual, an account, a web site, etc.) via a digital ruse. Noun form: phishing. 47
  • backdoor draft, n., the filling of military jobs through reactivation of former troops or through forced enlistment extensions known as stop-loss orders. 16
  • blog- as a prefix or combinging form in making other words: blogosphere, blognoscenti, blogarrhea. 1
  • fetch, adj., cool or stylish, from the movie Mean Girls. 11

Most Creative

  • WINNER: pajamahadeen, n., bloggers who challenge and fact-check traditional media. 36/52
  • hillbilly armor, n., scavenged materials used by soldiers for improvised bullet-proofing and vehicle hardening, esp. in Iraq. 11
  • lawn mullet, n., a yard neatly mowed in front but unmowed in the back. 29/27
  • nerdvana, n., geeks really geeking out; collaborative geekiness. 6.5

Most Unnecessary

  • WINNER: carb-friendly, adj., low in carbohydrates. 38/50
  • -based as in reality-based, faith-based. 14
  • erototoxin, n., a (nonexistent) chemical released in the brain of a person looking at pornography. 17/26
  • stalkette, n., a female stalker. 10

Most Outrageous

  • WINNER: santorum, n., the frothy residue of lube and fecal matter which sometimes is the result of anal sex. 3
  • clone and kill, n., raising a crop of humans for parts. 6
  • douche chill, n., interjection used to break a sudden silence after a verbal faux pas. 9
  • Jesusland, n., the country which will be the rump US after the blue states have seceded and joined Canada. 13

Most Euphemistic

  • WINNER: badly sourced, adj., false. 50
  • angel, n., a soldier killed in action. 7
  • partner reduction, n., divorce or severing of a romantic relationship. 2
  • wardrobe malfunction, n., unanticipated exposure of bodily parts. 15

Most Likely To Succeed

  • WINNER: red, blue, and purple states, n., the American political map. 21/46
  • krunked, n., cool, crazy. 2
  • mash-up, n., a blend of two songs or albums into a single cohesive musical work. 23/22
  • meet-up, n., a local special interest meeting organized through a national web site. 16
  • orange revolution, n., the recent Ukrainian political crisis. 5

Least Likely To Succeed

  • WINNER: FLOHPA, n., collectively, the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, said to have been important in the 2004 American presidential election. From the postal codes for the three states: FL, OH, and PA. 41
  • holy toast, n., a grilled cheese with the image of the Virgin Mary, sold on eBay. 23
  • luanqibaozhao, n., Chinese for a complicated mess. 8
  • security mom, n., a female voter said to vote according to the protection of her family. 2

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Not Bill Gates but more the Gates of Christo done on the cheap. The effort, struggle really, to rewire Manning Hall to conform to some standard which I do not completely understand has finally reached our office here at ibiblio. As a result, we are mostly working from home, the library or at secret places where I’d rather not be aware of (being the boss).
The aesthetic effect on the office is not to be ignored. It can’t be ignored. Here are a few quick shots for your viewing pleasure. If only the plastic were orange. But then the grey translucent goes better with our office color scheme.

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Larry Lessig writes to many of us and asks us to pass on his call to bring attention to works that are under copyright, but are out of print and whose owners cannot be found. eldred.cc gives the details and gives a call to action.

Lessig’s letter follows:

Sorry about the intrusion, but an important opportunity has come up for you to have a positive impact on the direction of copyright law and I wanted to let you know about it directly.

Thanks to some prodding by a couple of great US Senators, the copyright office is currently considering whether to recommend changes to copyright law that will make it easier and cheaper for you to use “orphaned works” — works that remain under copyright but whose “owner” can’t be found. As many of you have written me, this is a real problem that affects thousands of innovative people every year. But the copyright office still needs some convincing.

To convince them, we need your help. If you have a relevant story, or a perspective that might help the Copyright Office evaluate this issue, I would be grateful if you took just a few minutes to write an email telling them your story. The most valuable submissions will make clear the practical burden the existing system creates. (One of my favorite stories is about a copy-shop’s refusal to enlarge a 60 year old photo from an elementary school year book for a eulogy because the copyright owner couldn’t be found.) Describe instances where you wanted to use a work, but couldn’t find the owner to ask permission. Explain how that impacted your ability to create. Or pass this email on to someone who you know might have a useful story to add.

The Copyright Office is already overworked and understaffed, so I’m not asking that you stuff their inbox with demands for action, or anything like that. They are not Congress. They are not even the FCC. Their role here is as fact-finder, so “just the facts, ma’am.” (Oops, do I need permission to use that?)

Everything you need to do this is online at http://eldred.cc. We’ve explained exactly what the copyright office is asking for, how and where to submit your email, and provided some examples of stories we’ve heard from others about how their creativity has been stalled when they’ve tried to use orphan works. If you have questions, there’s a contact email there for people who can help you out.

In spite of my usual pessimism, I think we have a real opportunity here to move the law in a positive direction. Please help us “promote the Progress of Science” (and that text is in the public domain), by showing the Copyright Office where unnecessary regulation hampers progress.

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Dave Barry is on leave. Fans must enjoy reprints of his old columns or read his Peter Pan prequel, “Peter and the Starcatchers” (written with Ridley Pearson) or wait for his movie, Guide to Guys (aka G2G) which premiered on February 2.
But for those of us who love the near predictability of a Dave Barry column, there is AutoDave. It’s been around for a while (since 1999) but while we’re awash in multi-media Barry assault, it’s good to know that the essence of Barry has been captured and preserved for us. The automated Dave Barry column generator will save your soul or at least your funny bone.

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David Bollier of On the Commons points us to The Economist (February 3, 2004) where an article in Economic Focus “The economics of sharing” gives the nod to Yochai Benkler‘s more complexly argued piece “Sharing Nicely: On Shareable Goods and the Emergence of Sharing as a Modality of Economic Production” [PDF] in the Yale Law Journal (November 2004).
David tells us that the Economist “expresses some surprise at the idea that ‘social sharing’ via electronic networks has become a potent sector of economic production right up there with markets and the state.”
On the Commons is full of pointers to other good readings in open source and open society.

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Roger McGuinn writes to say that all of the over 100 songs in his Folk Den are now converted to mp3 format. When he started in November 1995, we had to use .wav and .ra. This really limited the places you could play the songs. But with mp3 you have a lot of flexibility.
Roger began putting up one folk song every month almost 10 years ago and hasn’t stopped yet. There are a lot of nice surprises along the way including a trio of Roger, Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry playing and singing “Sloop John B” November 2004, Frank Hamilton (once of the Weavers) singing with Roger on “Brazos River” January 1999, and a vintage tape of Roger (then Jim) at age 16 playing “John Henry” August 1998.
All the songs are under Creative Commons licenses.

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As I was walking down the street after having visited with my ole poet buddy, Ann Deagon, I passed the Number One Chapel Hill Downtown Eyesore. The Wicked Burrito was not a great place when it opened. The outside paint job was ugly, tacky and unappealing. But then the place was abandoned by the chain that owns it. It sat idle and fading and breaking with rusting iron rails for years.
The owners, Lone Star Steak House and Salon [STAR], refused to relet the building prefering to let it sit and decay.
faded wicked glory
Finally the Town took notice and various threats were made.
But today the owners took action. The building (a former gas station in better times) was surrounded by painters.
I struck up a conversation and learned that the poor painters had spent the morning matching the old tacky multi-color paint job. This afternoon they start stripping and painting. Soon instead of fading decaying tackiness, we will have bright and shiny tackiness.
I am trying to decide which is worse. I guess it won’t just be conjecture soon. I’ll be able to compare the two choices.

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Who: Philip Meyer, UNC’s Knight Chair in Journalism
What: The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
When: Friday, February 25 at 7 p.m.
Where: Market Street Books & Maps
704 Market Street
Southern Village
Chapel Hill
919/933-5111

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What: Inside Darfur and the Humanitarian Information Centre
When: Tuesday March 1 at 4 pm
Where: Freedom Forum Conference Center, 3rd floor Carroll Hall, UNC
Who: UNC grad and ibiblio alum Mark McCarthy

More about HIC

More about Mark McCarthy

Comments No Comments »

Moog logo
Bob Moog invented modern electronic music with his synthesizers and his theremins. But in a bad business deal, he lost his name for a while. He has it back and he’s the subject of a new documentary. Sally Greene notices that Moog has kindred spirits, of all sorts, in his current hometown of Asheville NC. She also has the links to a Guardian interview and to the movie trailer.
Moog, as you will find, has a looser idea of what autonomic computing might mean.

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Ted Vaden, the public editor (as opposed to the private editor?) for the News and Observer, writes of blogs and blogging today in an article called “Bloggers Challenge Traditional Media”.
His unified vision of what/who/where bloggers are is off. No, we are not all the same. Some are professional journalists, others are thoughtful, some are paid operatives, some are cranks, some don’t care about politics in the least, etc. Place me where you will.
Vaden does give props to OrangePolitics.org and ends his article by saying: “note to self: Start an N&O blog.”

In the meantime, UNC Journalism and Mass Communications alumni and Triangle Bloggers Conference organizer, Anton Zuiker, throws down the blogging challenge to his alma mater (where I am on faculty and was lucky to have had Anton in class). Part of Anton’s challenge is that no one should take on our Deanship unless they have “read this [this being a Peggy Noonan piece] and responded to it – on a blog!”

If you have missed blogging altogether and need to catch up, professional journalist Ed Cone has written an intro to blogging for the News and Record called “Beginner’s guide to the blogosphere”

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