Archive for June, 2005

Keith Henderson has been doing his “Illusions of the King” Elvis show for 26 years. I saw him first as the young Elvis not long after he started. Keith has a great voice and great family support over the long haul; his grandmother makes his elaborate costumes and his mother adds the stud work, his daughter sings a great soprano.
He also has a great band. Any band with Will McFarlane as lead guitar is going to be good.
As I listened to Keith hold a verrrrrry long note on “Rags to Riches,” I was reminded that Sam Phillips of Sun Records had latched onto Elvis when he was looking for a young white boy who could sing and sound like the great black artists that were hitting on the R&B charts. Now, according to Henderson, the number of Elvis-sounding acts and Elvis tributes has grown at such a rate that if the grown continues apace 1 out of every 4 persons in the world will be doing Elvis tributes by 2020.

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Speech professor Joan Aitken has collected and annotated many links, added personal and professional insights and generally created a strong picture of the Affair de Bryan LeBeau. Included are ethics statements, solutions proposed and suggested as consequence including the laughable idea of having LeBeau teach an ethics course. She provides some notes on the salary situation as well. All this at her personal site.

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Terry Maguire has been blogging away about and for WUNC at http://wunc.blogspot.com/. Terry covers WUNC inside stories, backgrounds of WUNC contributors and asks questions that need answers from “Anyone offended by WUNC using a pop up window to hawk the need for contributions?” to the station’s take on the proposed cuts in federal funds for PBS and NPR.

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“Anonymous UMKC employee” posts a comment here that tells us that Dean Bryan LeBeau has been placed on administrative leave at reduced salary. UMKC is operating under the guidance of an interim chancellor and the school is wisely waiting for the new chancellor to evaluate the status of LeBeau.

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Ether Music 2005
Amongst other things, Steve Burnett writes to tell us the upcoming (August 4 – 7) celebrating the one instrument that you don’t touch, the Theremin in Asheville, NC — “Ether Music 2005 Conference – A Celebration of the Theremin”

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Sally and I will be going up to Chicago next weekend. Getting there in time to go to the openning of Wired’s Nextfest on Thursday out on Navy Pier. Going to see some Frank Lloyd Wright homes and buildings. Visiting the Art Institute, etc. We’ll be staying at the Talbott Hotel on Delaware.
We’re open to suggestions for places to see, places to get a meal and things to do.

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A note from Cathy Marshall reminds me to look up the biography of occultist/rocket scientist/sci-fi inspirer John Whitsides Parson – Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle.
[tl781.85.p37 p46 2005]

Not entirely unrelated: June 21 is World Hike Naked Day according to several sources including the local press.

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Jeff Vanke writes of his TurnItIn.com experience using the Le Beau speech at the History News Network. TurnItIn found both West and Russell borrowings AND turned it in to UMKC who immediately contacted Vanke to ask how he managed to get a copy. Since UMKC has removed the speech from the net. Google cache of course is still good as I explain below in an earlier post. I’m not sure for how much longer though.

But for historical purposes, many of us have kept copies to use in class when we discuss plagiarism.

When I was travelling in Russia with PR Prof Larry Lamb, I would hear him tell classes over and over that the best PR plan is not to duck, hide, or deny. But to own the problem immediately, take proper responsibility, consider the image of your brand in the circumstances and do more than is required, and never to destroy evidence that people have already seen. You only look more guilty.

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If the House has its way, the PATRIOT Act provisions dealing the library and bookstore records will be rolled back, reports CNN. [some thoughts after I absorb some of this]

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The first mark of the realization of guilt (on a bigger scale) is the removal of evidence. UMKC and LeBeau are cleaning up their act by dropping the evidence of his misdeeds and possible others from the net. Feel free to capture history via the Way Back Machine (thanks again Brewster for coming up with this. and thanks Google for Google cache).
I thought I had written my last about the pathetic LeBeau story, but instead it becomes a saga.

In one profile of LeBeau, he is called “one hell of a PR man.” Now we see other sides.

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Several of my collegues graduated from Mizzou aka the University of Missouri. It’s located in Columbia, MO. They’ve asked me to let you know that UMKC is not Mizzou.
I’m sure that they are both fine schools. Having been an undergrade at NCSU and a faculty member at UNC (that’s the Chapel Hill one), I completely understand the issue.

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Keith Henderson as Elvis
This weekend is the 23rd Hillsborough Hog Day. There will be True BBQ there (both days since Hog Day has grown like a pig and now takes two days), there will be great live music, there will be antique cars, there will be hog-calling, there will be arts and crafts — And there will be a great Elvis Tribute by Keith Henderson.

The center piece of the Day is still eatin’ pig. That’s the best. As the Hog Day site describes:

When day breaks on Saturday, Hog Day is already bustling with activity. While vendors, who sell everything from video games to handpainted stained glass, set up in the General Merchandise, Food, and Craft areas, you hear a persistent “thunk, thunk, thunk” and you know the pig is ready. The cooking teams chop all their cooked pig and sauce a portion for the Barbecue Tasting Judges. In 2005, the judges will include Jonathan Childress and Damon Lapas of Chapel Hill’s That BBQ Joint. Led by Chief Judge David Hunt, the judges will compare notes and make their final decisions as to the top 5 barbecue cooking teams. They are to be saluted for tasting 36 different barbecues at 8:30 am!

The rest is shuttled to the main tent, where it’s made into sandwiches and pounds of the freshest barbecue in the state. Cash prizes and trophies are awarded for best barbecue.

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While the AP and other stories are calling Bryan LeBeau’s letter on HistoryNetwork and consequent interviews an admission of guilt, it is only half so. Yes, he admits copying, but only quotes — as in “I don’t recall where I got Cornel’s quotes. As they were just quotes, I suspect he was quoted somewhere, and I clipped them.” Not exactly random quotes. See for yourself. West here. LeBeau here.
Then there is the introduction given by LeBeau taken from Russell Baker as yet unacknowledged.
LeBeau also attempts to change his misdeed by removing the publication aspect of his theft. Although all of his Dean’s Newsletters are on the net, he claims to be uninformed that they are and have been for several years.
I do believe that LeBeau is sorry, but while he owns up to having done something “stupid,” he has not confessed to having done wrong. There is a difference. Searching for excuses is not the same as coming clean as anyone who has attended Confession should have learned.
Yet there are consequences, the Kansas City Star reports:

The dean, Bryan LeBeau, also said he has withdrawn from consideration to be executive vice president at DePaul University, a job for which he was a finalist, in the wake of news reports about the similarities.

But this is not tragic. Sadly, it is pathetic.

To quote Cornel West (or to quote LeBeau as he quotes West without acknowledgement):

We ought not to confuse the tragic with the pathetic. The tragic is about the exploration of human possibilities for freedom.


Ralph Luker writing on the Cliopatria History News Network
has a more detailed and, I would admit and confess but not decry, a smarter and more complete take on the LeBeau borrowings.

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Sounding a lot like former Boston University Dean H. Joachim Maître as he denied his obvious plagiarism of a commencement speech in 1991, Dean Bryan LeBeau posts a denial/appology on the History News Network.

But wait there’s more (and in cases like this unfortunately there usually is). An alert reader of Eric Muller’s IsThatLegal.org notices that the small part of the LeBeau speech claimed to be original was lifted from a 1995 speech by Russell Baker in 1995. Baker then LeBeau then West.
LeBeau’s favorite source seems to be Humanity.org and in particular the commencement speech archive there.

Will Bryan LeBeau join the other famous historian plagiarists?

Will he like Joachim Maître claim:

“The definition of plagiarism in the academy as applying to faculty members is directed toward scholarly research, research papers and the like,” Maitre said. “I gave a talk, not even a formal speech, on the occasion of commencement . . . as the dean of the College of Communication, an administrative officer, not a faculty member. The plagiarism definition does not cover any such thing.”

Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, St Louis Today (St Louis Post-Dispatch) covers the evolving story this way:
“UMKC Reviewing Allegations of Plagiarism Against Professor”
The Kansas City Star reports on LeBeau’s appology/denial in an AP story as:
“UMKC dean admits mistake in not attributing comments in speech”

Thanks to Barbara Semonche of the Park Library for reminding me of Maître.

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The Bryan Lebeau/Cornel West plagiarism story uncovered by Sally Greene and expounded on by Eric Muller has moved from the Chronicle of Higher Education to the Kansas City Star and the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
A lot of hair-splitting about whether copying a speech (and whitening it up with some really bad writing and bad thinking in the process) is worse that copying say parts of a book. But then the speech in both cases was published and distributed. Sounds like a big problem to me.
Even bigger problems arise in the appropriation of West’s work made during the rewrites by Lebeau as Sally points out.

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Sally Greene googled up a coincidence or out right theft when looking for a phrase from Hegel. The result was what seems to be a Dean and History Prof in Missouri taking and whitening up a speech by Cornel West and presenting it as his own — then publishing it in his newsletter and on the web. The Chronicle of Higher Education has the story in print (and unfortunately behind the bars of their subscription login), but Sally tells a good bit of the tale and Eric Muller has more to say as he asks if Dean Bryan LeBeau will be held to the same standards as the ones to which he holds his own students. All three have links to the speeches and some strong opinions on the matter.

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And those letters are P-I-G (although H-O-G is also acceptable). Never is BBQ a verb. That’s final. No debate.

My Texan brother-in-law sends me a link (not to be confused with Hot Links which are grilled sausages sold under the name barbecue in parts of Texas) about some poor deluded folks in Athens, TX. The secret to their non-pig, non-hickory-smoked burnt brisket “the right amount of black pepper and brown sugar.” The right amount of those ingredients is none, you misguided poor chillin!

When I was nearly held over in DFW on Friday night, I decided that even in my panic about travel, I would try to eat some food from Dickie’s BBQ Shack at the Food Court in honor of my Texan in-laws and of my friend Betty Adcock who flew in Texas food the other weekend to a party that I had to miss.

The meal was no meal. They had no coleslaw. They did not offer pig. They did offer turkey, hot links or brisket. The brisket which Texans seem to prefer and which I had on a white bread bun was dry as shoe leather. Even though it had burnt edges, it was edible once drowned in a sauce made of corn starch, sugar and catchup. No greens of any kind were available. I now understand cause of the stern and firm looks on the faces of the native Texans in the airport. You understand that the smirk of George Bush is not so much a smirk as a look of, well, constipation.
You need sweet moist pig, red peppers, and enough greens to keep you moving!

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We are heroes but not achievers exactly as far as Computerworld is concerned. Still they did a very nice article on ibiblio as a finalist.

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Pauline has nothing on me. I missed the storms that kept John Reuning overnight in Philly on Monday by deciding to leave DC early. But that turned out to be a teaser. Coming back to RDU from Denver was payback for the easy trip I had on Monday.
John, Megan and I were all leaving Denver at about 1 – 2 pm on Friday. Interestingly, we were all on different airlines with different connecting airports. John was on US Airways and heading back through Philly. Megan on United would change in Chicago. I was on American and thus doomed to fly through DFW.
But it was leaving Denver that was the problem — for me at least.
We went to our separate flights. Mine changed gates a couple of times as the rain outside turned to hail. Even at that our loading was only delayed by about 20 minutes and I had plenty of transfer time planned in for DFW.
Once in the plane and having pulled onto the tarmac, things were not so smooth. The hail returned as did lightning. We pulled into the deicing lane and sat. Then air traffic control had us turn around and head to a different runway. Repeat this four times.
To make us feel better while we waited, they showed us the second Bridget Jones movie. Even though Helen Fielding was one of the authors of the screen play, it was sad to watch for anyone who could still remember the first Bridget Jones film. Despite what Roger Ebert wrote in his review, this Jones is contrived all the way through and over Hollywooded throughout. Knowing that we were aimless driving around the runways of Denver didn’t improve the film.
Hours and I mean hours later, we took off. To avoid the storms, we went in directions far from the normal flight plan. Then the pilot came on and started talking about Tulsa.
We were out of fuel or nearly so from our tours of Denver in the rain. Stuck on the plane whilst in Tulsa then everyone in a panic about connections as we aproached DFW.
We finally arrived at DFW at 8 pm CDT. Only one flight to RDU was left for the night. Leaving DFW at 9:30 CDT and arriving at RDU after 1 am EDT.
Even though a large and somewhat friendly woman broke in line as the people from our flight were frantically rebooking, I did get a flight back. My seat the last row window. Only there is no window for the last row.
The plane was full and as we waited the line-breaker found me and wanted to talk about our previous flight. The David Sedaris story from the current New Yorker was speaking to the evil side of my brain. I managed to control myself and was lucky that she was given a seat near the front.
The flight from DFW to RDU was uneventful. We were back by 1:30 am.
Good to be home.

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Because of flight times, this will be the last session that I get to attend. Panel: Tick, Tock – Google as Library includes Richard Luce, Clifford Lynch, Barbara Quint and moderator Jim Williams [Dean of Libraries at UColorado-Boulder]. With luck I’ll get a seat with decent wireless access.

Panelists will engage one another and audience members in discourse on present and future relationships between (digital) libraries and dominant players in the world of e-commerce, typified by Google and Amazon. The presentations will emphasize how matters that seem threatening (to traditional library roles) may be viewed as opportunities for enhancing the value of digital libraries to their users.

Richard Luce from Los Alamos’ Library Without Walls and a NISO fellow.
Offers what he calls scattered observations:
Who do you trust? [asked about Google as in "when will Google suck?"]
Events often change corporate cultures. [again "when will Google stop doing good?"]
Libraries collect information too. Europeans fear what happens when libraries share data about patrons, say.
He now mentions Bell Labs, IBM, Microsoft and now Google as diff dominant players. Libraries endure he says.
High tech vs high touch. Libraries win on high touch.
Personalization is a winning area for libraries, but they need to have local data — as Los Alamos has to provide for their patrons.
Collaboration tools should be an edge for libraries. [he thinks Google won't be there soon. I think he's wrong]
Libraries can use a barter economy to federate and collaborate to get better services for their patrons. He thinks that Darwinism will select winners and kill off losers.
More about opportunities for libraries.

Cliff Lynch. Google is a word that is obcessing everyone for whatever reason. The Google digitization project has captured public imagination in a broad way. He will talk more broadly about mass digitization projects mentioning others like Brewster’s — err Internet Archive’s. Mass digitization was underway before Google stepped in and will be after [whenever after might be]. Has our Network failed to deliver on promises? Can we share and provide access to the world’s knowledge (as we promised back in the day)? Brings up copyright and business model disruption issues. Alludes to Deanna’s keynote (see earlier in this blog. International dimension delights Cliff. Folks claimed that the Net collections would be English only (makes joke about non-English holdings at US institutions). France started a competition to digitize more stuff to head off Englishers. Books are no longer the definitive part of our intellectual materials. Multimedia, audio, video, photos, etc are taking on new importance as those archives come online.
Notes a coming divide about what is online — out of copyright (aka safe) material — will become more important to our remaking and remixing. We can, as Brewster says, digitize all the public domain literature and we can have it all on a personal device! Not just in the big library in the sky. But it will stop someplace in the 1920s! That will bring things to a public policy crisis and force a revision of IP laws.
Last point: Google as library? Frames things wrongly. G is amassing a giant collection with rich access tools. But they are not the only ones. Libraries are not just collections, says he. How do libraries think about themselves in this new world? Do they hoard or share? Museums are in the same situation or more so. How centralized are collections? Who will get access?

Barbara Quint on by phone. This panel is named from her article, Tick Tock. Research libraries spend 15 billion $$$ per year [for what?] After Harvard etc, where will Google go? It will sell access to smaller libraries. Google may spend 1 billion to digitize, but they can make 15 billion on that investments.
She wonders not about libraries but about librarians. We can’t get stuck in the stacks. Germans aren’t fighting via copyright but are digitizing themselves (as are French). University Presses complains and challenges. Authors will step up as well. Authors may take on the case themselves by taking out of print books back. Google doesn’t really won content but instead library patrons.
Comments on her article. Michael Hart of Project Gutenberg to give her props. Folks, she says, agree that Google has already won. But so have users (maybe). Even the French will and probably should cooperate with Google. Will Yahoo or MSFT begin to compete?

Cliff and Rich respond.
First Rich. Google has captured imagination and we lack it. There is an issue about librarians futures. It is about libraries! People still come in the buildings even if they are some sort of information commons. Why will people come in? Social/Starbucks buildings.
Barbara say damn straight there is a problem. The bucks for bricks are too high. Libraries pay for overhead and salaries — not for collections. Why would we pay? Library is a purchasing consortium. Why do we need that consortium when most stuff is free.
Jim moderator picks up on free vs pay access.
Barbara says collections only $$$ could pay for all citizens without buildings
Cliff responds. Buying collections/library in a box is coming for say community colleges. Journals are already treated that way (Barbara confirms). Next monographs.
But stewardship and curation are there in larger libraries. This will split public and research libraries say.
Cliff talks about publisher pushback on Google digitization. Digitize all then figure out what is public domain and release that. If you digitize and don’t show it to anyone, is that a copyright violation? Sounds zen to Cliff.
Now Cliff starts to diss University Presses — as does Barbara. B says in an interview with the AUP head that he says “we are a niche market group” B then asked “do you want to stay a niche market group?”
Last thing from Cliff [hee hee] author publisher relations in book market. Journals take all rights from authors so digitizing those work was easy. But the ‘out of print’ clause in book authors’ contracts causes problems when ‘out of print’ is difficult to define. When will the author ever get a work back. Orphan works and/or out of business publishers brought up. This last is subject to inspection by LC and the copyright office.
Cliff says Michigan is interested in sharing legal information especially. what other collaborations? the five institutions with Google have not comprehensive digitization of thier entire collections. This corpus is only the beginning. Partnerships with users/patrons is/are the real juice.
Barbara says she will wander back to the initial trust issue with Google. What if Google is stopped by the Presses? Whose side will we be on? Could Google become a public utility? [ala Martin Greenberger's Information Utility]
Rich. goes back to barter. notes Google partnerships and their rules.
Barbara. GooglePrint will not allow printing but only onscreen viewing — except for NYPL. Even if public domain.
Cliff says that non-commercial use would be okay.
Barbara says Google told her “No downloads” (period)
Questions:
Martin of Emery. like the nationalization of google. makes joke
Ed Fox of VT. speaks of dream of universal access and how to keep it alive. (not a question). giving props to NSDL and his own early work. (still no question). More props for instutional repository movement (he doesn this). Electronic theses (he does this — still no question).
Cliff comments. Likes his point that mass digitization is very backwards looking. Ed hinted within his props that we need to get new new new material. capturing 75 year old materials is only a small part of that we need to be doing. we need to manage the stream of new authorship.
Gary M of UNC. agrees that digitization of public domain is old school. wants to talk about remix and reuse. who will take care of the new derivative works? where will they reside? will they be in a “Dim archive”?
Barbara. wrote on blog/books and book/blogs.
Rich. is Google a library? 9-11 changes the access rules as far as sharing material. Los Alamos has had stuff taken away. Google content also disappears. The Memory Hole [not called that here but is by me] is the big problem for our future.
Barbara. tells a scholarly journal that killed an article once the author was convicted of fraud. the bad stuff needs to be there not removed!
Rich. on disinformation campaigns. google and yahoo and others gamed and used by disinformationism (is that a word?)
Barbara. talks about the censorship role in libraries in the process of selection.
Cathy Blake of UNC. likes the collections of agreement and disagreement. so early on we need speculations and even wrong ideas so we can see the evolution of say scientific discourse.
Barbara. she is bothered by GooglePrint and GoogleLibrary agreements and selections. Google doesn’t collaborate on working with the materials as well as she would like.
U of Penn guy John asks about large corpuses as attractors to patrons. what will libraries do? googleScholar
Barbara says she talked with Elsivier is not up to Google. Google does clustering with GoogleScholar in a great way. Could there be clustering for “reliability” or for
“truth”?
Intergrating and distributed searches. Cliff notes that Google is centralized not distributed. We’ve been at distributed but not so successful (we worked with Brewster and with Cliff on WAIS even).
?? Canadian person. talks about Canadian issues and the commercialization of knowledge. Now about digitization standards and digital preservations. Please talk about it, panel.
Cliff. need LOCKSSish. make lots of copies. Google is too centralized for example. not all vulnerabilities are technical. political or religious or legal purges can kill copies.
He doesn’t see Google as a long term cultural preservation activity. They need profits. What will Google do when there are not profits to be had on some stuff?
[jones starting to burn out]
Barbara says standards are fine, but Google will do whatever they want.
Rich. talks about reliabilityand uptime and the like.
Cliff will disagree with Barbara. Public domain materials will return to libraries and libraries should and will handle it.
Barbara says focus on journals immediately to be players (research librarians).
More discussion, but I must go.

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