Integrating Collections at the Cervantes Project by Neal Audenaert. Looking to support humanists who work particularly of a single author. Much like the Blake Project so far. This is a good presentation but it’s getting late in the day.
I wonder how does this talk about the tricks of Cervantes such as the idea that Don Q comes from a manuscript discovered by Cervantes that there are layers and layers of the story that we often miss in cleaned up translations. Not part of the business of the presentation, but what’s on my mind. The way that C works with narrative is complex and amazing. I want to know more.
How to deal with language issues? Spanish mostly but remember that spelling in Spanish of the period was not standardized. Over 15 languages used overall including that from the icon collection.
Will the limits of the tools be discussed by scholars — of course.
To Grow in Wisdom: Vannevar Bush, Information Overload, and the Life of Leisure by David Levy
The “library problem” how to take on the problem of “information overload’
Josef Pieper “Leisure the Basis of Culture” same time as Bush. Why we need leisure and need to avoid the world of total work. Can we be more than complete functionaries and full time workers? Can we enter the world of slowness and stillness [and quietness]? Leisure is related to scholarship as in being receptively attuned. The first scholastics looked at ratio or rational the other intellectus or simply looking.
What happened to intellectus? Web helps solve only ratio. says Levy.
[Levy elides the profound religious and directly Catholic basis and some would say bias of Pieper's work
He uses Bush as an empty vessel to fill with an areligious Pieper. To say well Bush was much like Pieper when he talked about info-overload say. But how much of that is really in Bush. Not much from what I recall from the biography of Bush.]
What can we do, ask Levy. Expand the dialog and metrics beyond effeciency and productivity. What does it take to become comtemplative? Great reading rooms in libraries inspire contemplation. What would it mean to create sanctuaries in cyberspace? [I think he means Sanctuaries] He did a conference on Information, Silence and Sanctuary
at LC he hopes to do a workshop on mindful work and technology winter 2006.
Without irony, Levy asks us to Google to find the references to the conference and to learn about his workshop. It has streaming video, he tells us.
In the question time, more comes about the importance of reflection. Does he recall that many monastaries saw a work as a form of contemplation?
Some good discussion. One questioner notes the inherent problems of supporting the contemplatives which forced so many to be virtually enslaved in order to support the meditators.
Digitization and 3D Modeling of Movable Books by Jérôme Dupire. This work on books with complex pages. I would call constructed books, pop-up books, hidden object books, and like.
Earlier work with “flat pages” presented at CIFED 04, JCDL 02, ACM DL 98, SIGGRAPH web3d 01
All done with object oriented programming.
Much like Das project in the earlier work.
Sarah Giersch moderating. Cathy Marshall first speaker. “Turning the Page on Navigation” from Microsoft. A bit about the materiality of the book with the british library’s turning the pages project with a three d library. Turning a wodge of pages will be explained. Meaning what a wodge might be.
this a lot about ebook readers. i like cathy. i doubt ebook readers. observational methods about book-like interfaces for digital libraries. shows picture of some very geeky reading devices. says that this changes reading. now compares reading new yorker and reading new yorker online. watching people reading is like paint dry. funny web page of paint drying.
3 readers. regular new yorker readers. they self-recorded themselves reading. Start new New Yorker supposedly for the first time. 8 readers in the lab reading ebooks on ebook readers. Not online but on a now canceled microsoft ereader. readers read less pages on ereader.
citing roland barthes about “the pleasure of the text” here.
a lot about individuals who are studied talk about reading. amusing stories mostly.
one goes to poetry and to the funny last page first, for example.
now about navigation. the ebook folks did about the same things as paper readers. majority of navigation acts were forward page turns. but wait! pause for a wodge teaser. based on google image search.
Very detailed description of how folks read: touching head. turning page slowly or faster, dropping off to sleep, etc.
hands go into position for turning very much earlier than the action might require.
description of the materials and the materiality of the new yorker.
page flipping and imprecission is helpful Cathy argues.
Ben S asks how about the ways that paper does a crappy job and that we as new interfaces could improve? got any?
do you have an evolving theory of reading? ben says looks like 10 proposed research projects here looking at the kinds of reading, say. pleasure, business, factfinding, etc.
Next Nancy Kaplan. Network is going in and out on me so expect problems.
In the Company of Readers: The digital library book as a “practiced place.” de Certeau defines “Practiced places” as places in which an activity happens and where we feel in the presence of others — even while being alone. say like reading or walking on a well-worn path.
about reading by children in particular. those that are tweens and/or early teens. also a look at libraries’ social lives. notice people in all the library pictures.
books have annotations, dogears, left articles etc.
much said that annotations were great in their day but today kids are socialized away for annotation/
digital materials have no good annotation systems and none at all for children. http://www.icdlbooks.org international children’s digital library.
needs. etc are needs not as defined by kids but by adults who “know whatm kids need”
kids want uniform actions. and they want games.
participatory design with kids to make interface elements using paper prototypes.
Alph is a flash delivered application that provides bookish interfaces with annotations or possibilities of annotations.
looking at “holes” louis sachar in the reader as one example. notes and about notes is shown.
now look for social interactions and learn about social interactions in digital reading.
Steve Wheatley of American Council of Learned Societies. About Humanities and Social Sciences. Here is their page. How small the funding is for Humanities as opposed to Science is addressed and to make sure that Humanites and SS are included in the funding. Are they really only trying to put their fingers in the NSF money pot? No No No Of course not ;-> This talk mostly borrowed from one by John Unsworth of UIUC and from the ACLS site linked to above and here. Stories about Humanities successes such as cuneiform compilations at Stanford. Humanities will help us know about the evolving cybercultures. Copyright and privacy are the two biggest problems. Privacy biggest for social science says he.
Cliff Lynch next. See his talk at UNC Symposium on ibiblio. No slides of course. This is Cliff afterall. He will be brief (hee hee we know better). He will offend us all eventually says he.
Nature of Cyberinfrastructure. What an odd word. In Europe, they use eWhatever as in eScience or eGov. That lets us focus on changes of practices of scholarship instead of changes of tools.
Questions of knowledge representation for example. Draft report from National Science Board about the management of long-lived data collections. And about digital curation centre in the UK [alert Helen Tibbo]. What are the disciplinary norm for sharing need to be paid attention to. Platforms for collaboration. How does the corpus of literature fit in? How to handle and mine this.
Two or three other things in conclusion. Funding strategies are not so new. Consider the history of the role of funding in the development of high performance networks for example. We cannot be nationally bound or disciplinarily bound. Especially Humanities for international cooperation and peer relationships. Break disciplinary silos [or siloes]. Funding agencies need to be open and not worry so much about which agency owns what parts, but they should collaborate even more broadly. Include arts, libraries etc. Don’t look from large gifts from on high, but plan to contribute [as we have in the past]. CI must be a multiway partnership.
Questions from audience:
Asks Steve about Privacy as an issue. News to her. Huge gov databases including census and health don’t allow some innovative access to their data.
Cliff steps in to talk about the dark side of CI. He says that Henry Brady on UC-Berkeley is the best on this problem. Medicine understands this, but social science has problems here. IRBs are also a big problem as they interfere with say oral histories. He cites this as a problem of privacy over-reach.
Greg Crane of Tufts. Begins rant about NSF funded research not funding any humanities or acknowledge previously funded humanities projects. Why should NSF or anyone fund this? Wikipedia has the biggest impact on general public without our [our being scholars] participation.
Reagan first. No examples in the slides, but yes humanities scholars do use supercomputers. He wavers to explain them tho. How do we reach the public? National Virtual Observatory is one he likes.
Steve now. Perhaps he was too subtle or too ironic in his talk. He nods to Cliff’s representation of knowledge. He sees CI as a way to open the discussions. He agrees that Humanities scholars don’t reach out to the public in production or in research.
Back to the panel. Some stuff not covered here. Cliff talks about DLI2 and about the need for more policy clarity from the federal agencies and about the ambivilence of NSF toward the humanities.
Cliff now gives props to text searching as not so bad, but worries about our ability to support image use across the broad world of scholarly communities.
Person from Bath asks about the silos of vocabulary that separate the disciplines and about standardizing datastructures with crosswalks. Reagan says that they are on it and mentions the multivalent browser for text parsing.
What about the cultural norms for sharing and for preservation within each discipline. People have to release their intellectual property [says Liz the moderator]
Steve: progress in the humanities moves forward funeral by funeral [he says he quotes someone he will not name]. Presses are understrain and must move to new technologies and social practice must also change. Learned Societies are acknowledging the need for collaboration.
Cliff: progess in datasharing are improving. Science does active collaboration and how multi-authored papers are now the norm. But humanities cannot cope well with that. back to datasharing. Reproducability of scientific work demands datasharing. Dead Sea Scrolls noted as bad humanities practice.
Cathy Blake [from UNC] talks about her work and how can tools get to agreements and disagreements and bring them to the fore via text mining (say).
Steve talks about the slowness of the cycle of discussion in the print culture. We are getting better he says.
Cliff says that in Health Sciences does this with analysis of clinical studies. Humanities are harder to do for various reasons.
Reagan says turn the question inside out. Publishing data is often required in science. what is the similar publication in humanities? sources? etc? he doesn’t see that in the same way.
Cyberspace is here, says guy from Norway whose name I didn’t catch. Rant about how it is here like it or not and detailed. Rant in a nice Norway way. How many funerals does it take for things to change? [humourously asked] but seriously what is the funeral rate necessary for progress?
Steve sees a tipping point at this very moment. We need to provide the infrastructure so that scholars don’t have to build a printing press before they publish. Infrastructure should be open so that any field can use it. That said the work may change the entire intellectual and scholarly landscape.
Cliff threatens to be controversal. Two different folks Active rejectors. Time will fix that. But there are also folks who don’t want to use the new stuff and why should they as long as they don’t block others. Now on younger scholars. Just because folks grew up with technology doesn’t mean that they know how to use it. So folks born after photoshop don’t necesssarily know how to use photoshop but need to be taught image manipulation say. So curiculum reform is needed.
Reagan says different research questions will be asked now that were not asked in the past. Since large scale analysis will be the future, collaboration will be necessary.
Bud Tribble is now back at Apple. Once he was at Eazel a startup that almost made a great difference by creating the Nautulis file manager (it did more than just that) for Linux, but 2001 interfered and the company never found second round funding. I have a warm spot in my heart for him because while he was at NeXT he was the Vice President of Software Engineering and a key architect of the NextStep operating system. My NeXT is still alive! and I loved NeXTStep, an OS and interface to which Mac OS X still attempts to match.
Bub Tribble is the keynote speaker on “Digital Content: Creating, Sharing, Searching”
Tribble begins. I avoid, almost, saying the “trouble with Tribble.” Apple taps the human need to create and communicate. That is the soul of the company. How Apple leads digital content:
print with words and images. partnering with adobe and pagemaker to create desktop publishing.
also always involved in creation of sound and of music. iTunes roots etc are in the long relationship with musicians and with studios.
photos videos and movies from home to k-12 to major studios.
New information creation is growing at about 30% per year most on hard disk. 0.01% went onto paper.
What about material that needs to be digitized? Google is doing a lot of it. But most content is yet to be created and will be created digitially. Pulls out the “Digital Immigrants” v “Digital Natives” discussion [picked up from Marc Prensky but uncredited here]. 5 year old expects to be able to “pause” the TV (because TiVo has always been a part of her life).
State of Maine program in which every 7th grader gets an iBook (some years back). Universal access changed education there. We see a promo video about the program. More about the program here. Replicared at over 100 places [what places? not 100 states obviously]. The funds come often from not buying text books. [think vitalbook here]
So much for creating now on to sharing content.
Storage. lots and more to come.
Networks for sharing for moving things around. lots and lots more to come. thanks to dotcom boom. need better distribution of the bandwidth though. say to homes. US is 5th to 17th in the world for at home high speed access. wireless kicks this in the immediate term
legal framework to allow sharing. DRM is complex and not even understood well. p2p works great but the legal issues… bitTorrent gets attention here.
[break by Jones]
Open Standards – [interesting to hear from Apple, but he was at Eazel] he says open standards will win in the long run. American Memory’s maps are in some non-Apple viewable format. Props to European govs work on require open standards.
Funny retro pictures of what 5mbs then 4 gigs looked like shown. leading to ibm microdrive. Storage costs per MB drops faster than Moore’s Law. Drops by more than half in less than 12 months. gigabyes per square foot chart. No sign of slowing down.
Apple and content sharing — itunes music store. is sharing the right word for selling stuff online? one interesting thing is that they don’t use a browser; you can buy in the ‘jukebox’ instead. no adverts on the itunes music store [he says]. ownership is a personal issue rather than rental models which Apple sees as an emotional issue. that’s why they sell rather than rent music. Every songs of the 1.5 million at the itunes store has been bought once at least. Props to the Long Tail. Much about access for new musicians. Now more people buy mostly from itunes than get music via p2p.
Searching for digital content. Google for searching the net. But searching on your own laptop is a pain. Quote from star trek next gen about search command from picard. V. Bush gets props “As we may think.” Notes how Bush complained about “too much published” even in 1945.
Promotes Spotlight. [I have Tiger so I have Spotlight. I love it.] Shows off Spotlight [non-Tiger folks feel free to die of envy].
A bit about metadata there. You can add metadata. But no normal person will ever do that.
Open source projects. About 1/2 of the Mac OS is built on open source.
Long term archiving is hard. [thanks for telling us] Formats change as do the devices. Brewster gets props for Way Back.
univerally accessible digital repository:
continued operation of moore’s law
long term archiving
legal framework for ip needs attention
not a question: guy talks about owning music and downloading. he hates the DRM from apple especially the “fair play” DRM for shuffle which killed his music.
tribble says work not done yet on drm. apple wants to innovate as is real and microsoft. not time for standards for drm because we are still in an innovation period.
follow up on drm. do you see how you can solve drm for long term archiving.
tribble gives props to lessig. how does stuff get into the public domain when it’s encrypted?
more on itunes. itunes is not sharing, says he. but selling only major labels there. how about “real music” by “real bands”
itunes now getting indys. over 1000 so far. started with the 4 majors for example. nine inch nails garageband mix gets props. questioner wants more emerging bands.
Everyone of the 50 poster presenters is given 60 seconds to describe their project as presented on their posters. After 60 seconds, an annoying sound begins. So far everyone has been on time. Very close to the limit too. Several persentations from the Digital Library for Earth Science Education, nearly 10, here in Colorado. Xerox PARC will be doing a demo of a zooming information tree. Also their UpLib systems a personal digital library. 7 million PDFs scanned by SETI@home like techniques. M2K from Indiana and EVIADA for ethnomusicial videos (need to talk to them about folkstreams); part of their work is with annotations of the video etc. Several from Indiana on Music projects. Michael Khoo is very funny. Aihara has videos of arts and crafts masters — a reciprocal platform? Video recommenders from includes work by Gary Geisler and Mike Nelson using Open Video. NCSU has a wood anatomy database — giant project as far as wood goes. Small image library for PDAs in booth 32. 33 is annotation for health portal from UNC SILS. More than one BioPortal in the world — this one is in Arizona. The mic wasn’t on for John when he started talking so he lost maybe 8 seconds. He still came off well and folks seemed interested. We’ll see if they stop by later. We are near the food so chances are high.
*Addressing the Challenge of Visual Information Access from Digital Image and Video Archives
Michael G. Christel, Ronald M. Conescu
Mike Christel presenting. concept-based vs content-based retrieval of video. concept-based using manually described text descriptions of what is in the video. very labor intensive. annotation is incomplete and inconsistant and based on the annotators own experiences and knowledge. words have a tough time describing pictures. content-based is done by computers. good at color, texture and shapes and motion or lackthereof. but people don’t know how to ask for content-based systems. a symantic problem. even forming a query is difficult. can content-based get to concept desctiptions — know if the image is of buildings cars etc?
TRECVID – is a TREC video search. NIST sponsored corpus of news videos. next year international news video. given a multimedia need and topic can a user find the document (aka video)?
CMU created an interface of storyboards of keyframes. 3 kinds. one “best sets” like best roads. best people done imperfectly by machine. one color match — all with yellow background. third, text query. 24 novices in the study. independently worked for 15 mins to do 4 topices. full system vs video only.
precission was very close between the two runs of the two systems. full system generally but no always wins. when does video only win? generic topics v specific copies. man-speaking v bill clinton say. on generic full always beats video only. and people liked the full system better. so full system (includes closed captions etc) always wins. same for experts as novices. people do better than automatic (run without interactive feedback).
experts used “best search” much more than novices. novices even with video only used much more text in their searches than experts. why do novices use text even when there isn’t hardly any text there? see paper for more
Cathy asked about improvements. how to get there and be as good as Google Image search? better detectors (like road detector) will get more precision even tho recall will still suck.
what about color and texture searches? find more like this. worked sorta.
*Assessing Tools for Use with Webcasts
Elaine Toms, Christine Dufour, Jonathan Lewis, Ron Baecker
Christine Dufour speaking. Reusing webcasts is the topic. abstract here. How do people use the tools for webcast. ePresnece webcasting system used. 5 tools: video window, slide window, timeline, search button, table of contents. users given three tasks. n=16 students. 56% had never used ePresence. Not sure what to take from this one. Useful critique of who folks use ePresence and of ePresense Interactive Media I guess. Can we extend from this? And to what? Looks like text is the big winner again here.
what is the user modivation? so far assigned tasks, not true user needs.
rate of tool use. how much time spent with each and does that matter afterall?
Cathy asks how was table of contents created? by powerpoint or by human annotation — inconsistant. since powerpoint was the most useful (since it had the most text i bet) how would people do if just given powerpoint (NB Cathy’s company owns powerpoint)?
Exploring User Perceptions of Digital Image Similarity
Unmil P. Karadkar, Richard Furuta, Jin-Cheon Na
Unmil speaking. Texas A&M. MIDAS Multi-device integrated dynamic a? systems. abstract here.MIDAS user studies here.
Anton aka Mister Sugar writes about the upcoming Chapel Hill Blog Teach-in.
Chapel Hill Blog Teach-in
Join us for a free event to learn about blogging and how to create your own blog:
* Saturday, June 11, 2005
* 12 noon – 2 p.m.
* UNC-CH Health Sciences Library Biogen Idec Classroom, a computer lab with 40 seats
* For anyone who wants one-on-one help becoming a blogger
* For new bloggers who want one-on-one help improving their blog or making the most of their blogware
Panel on (mostly) born-digital preservation. MIT prof at retirement turns in his laptop as his personal archives.
Average life of a document on a government web site is only 44 days. Brewster gets props for some goodness but links are often broken. Long-term access fails (says she, she being Liz Bishoff).
Robert Horton – Minnesota Historical Society – speaks first.
largest of state historical society. 300 employees. broad collections including tv, video, audio of legislature, etc etc. every 20th century medium difficult to preserve. think of silent films and varieties of audio. what is the “use value”? the more something is used the more likely it will be preserved in some form.
government records perspectives now. move to egovernment makes records management extremely difficult. procedures now used are no longer sensible or even doable.
minnesota does not try to control behavior. everyone shouldn’t have to be a records manager (says minnesota). starting with lower hanging fruit with specific results. have to have partners. UCSD’s supercenter has been their partner. Using grid technologies and GIS resources via SDsupercenter. 1.5 terabytes there.
Technology is not the problem, but organizational change is. How to fund and educate and to manage partnerships. How to move lessons learned at the edges of the organization to the center.
From eGov. must connect to enterprise architecture.
Must build capacity by showing immediate return — to get funds. Like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors — Feed Me!
Mark Halbert from Emery U – part of DLF’s Aquifer Project also NDIIPP funded etc. Preservation is not boring, says he. Now he explains his NDIIPP project which is about getting 3 terabytes of Southern (that’s Southern North America) resources as a Metaarchive.
distributed preservation strategy – LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe)
dim archiving – not necessarily high accessible. in fact. hold costs by not letting people see it!
flexible organization model
formals content selection process – use the farris encyclopedia of southern culture as the framework
project time line – network underway now. initial archiving will be done in august.
metadata schema – standards based http://www.metaarchive.org
cooperative agreement designed to grow and change over time.
copyright ambiguities are the biggest challenges. LOCKSS is not friendly to copyright restrictions. lawyers see copies are well copies; archivists see copies as preservation and necessary.
Taylor Surface next up. He’s from OCLC. Director of Content Management something or other (says intro). He too is part of NDIIPP with UIUC. OCLC on digital content preservation. OCLC as a service provider for other organizations. Two services. Web archiving service to provide permanent access via links and/or archived materials as captured from the web for certain constituents. Digital masters supports digitization services and preserving “digital masters” for control and management. Used by about 10 state libraries.
Preservation planning. the OCLC policy, which you can read on the web (says he). Global digital format registry. (my my spelling is bad). Specificially informed risk accessment methodology (INFORM). Trusted digital repository registry for a national and/or international repositories to show that your work will be preserved.
What is a “dim archive”? Martin answers. That Dark Archiving is impenatrable, but they don’t like to provide high availability to preserved materials. That means that you can get to a registry but you may not be providing access especially high availablity.
Gary Marchionini asks about software for preservation etc. Emery uses LOCKSS (open source etc). Bob says storage resource broker from SDSC and contentVM in minnesota. OCLC guy makes his pitch and says they currently use Oracle but that that is changing even now. and there will continue to be changing.
selection at emery. the most difficult issue is what formats will preserve what including the relationships in software and in databases. how to preserve intellectual content? files of ?? format will have rotted (say like wordstar?). migtation will be concerned with the selection.
formats for gov records. only about 1% of gov records is preserved. content is more important than structure for gov docs says Bob of minnesota.
More on structure and on formats.
“The Sum of the Parts: Turning Digital Library Initiatives into a Great Whole” Can there be a discussion of digital libraries without worrying over Google in various ways? — appearently not. American Memory project has grown to 9 million items from over 100 collections. Originally designed for school children but now 3.4 billion hits from all over the world by (as near as they can tell) from people of all ages. Various projects from Library of Congress discussed (whilst Jason Moore IMs me from Rhode Island to tell me about his new job at UC-Irvine where he will be Digital Services Manager at their Library). Now about starting and maintaining born-digital collections. Buncha stuff about Dspace which is called “a newly developed digital repository created to capture, distribute and preserver the intellectual output of MIT.” Project Gutenberg gets props. Digital Librares Federation has 600 collections. [frankly there are many many not in DLF for various reasons]. TEL (The European Library) still seeks a “single access point” [why do libraries still think like AOL? and why are they obcessed by portals? Why not be more open and more flexible? Funding? Egos? Nationalisms? Continentalism? Or ease of use?] DLF has 34 members in their Aquifer portal. A bit about Open Archive Initiatives. More about how portals are so wonderful [I'm much less sure about that -- portals seem so AOL]. A “dream of a universal library” cited [bypasses Borges -- is he too obvious?]
Four major things to allow for the universal library:
Update copyright to allow better access and open the Commons. Jamie Boyle gets props for his fencing in the commons and enclosure essay. Fear of licenses supplanting copyright. Problems of extension. Database access problems. Need to protect fair use for public access. Public Library of Science and SPARC get props. As does J-STOR (which I love less because of their charging scheme blocks access). Fear of Google initiative — sorta. Publishers are up in arms — especially University Presses who should learn better. Section 108 study group (sec. 108 of copyright law) described as looking for balance. [but Google is forcing the issue] Orphan works not mentioned though.
Ensure Long-term Preservation. Need procedures and techniques or we will experience massive loss of knowledge and of digital resources. NDIIPP is one attempt at helping this happen [UNC and ibiblio are working on an NDIIPP funded project now with open video. We are one of 8 projects in this area.]
Link Libraries and Digital Collections. Open Archives gets props here. Metadata improvements and metadata sharing. $292K to DLF for Open Archives Initiative.
Get more Funding. [love this one] Google Initiative is a result of lack of federal funding? Brewster gets noted for his concern of private control of public resources. But Google is serious about very large scale digitization (says Brewster who has his own massive digitization projects).
Big institutions favored by these approaches. What about personal and unique collections?
[wikimedia projects are not noticed. that shows how much is missed here I think]
Gary Marchionini at the mike now. Asking about funding. “Let Google do it” vs national and international initiatives. [misses the obvious wiki answers. the wiki way is unmentioned at this conference so far. to me that's the most interesting model and biggest growth area]
Organizations serve their members. This causes problems.
Copyright issues up now.
Digital divide questions up now. Stories of funding for collaboration projects in poorly served areas.
Postman and media education mentioned. Contextual access to information needed.
Michael Khoo and I were talking about the small things that hotels get wrong. We don’t want HDTV especially. We do want:
Better in-room coffee. It’s great to wake up and make coffee in the room, but why why why is it always crappy coffee? Only a few cents more and you would have some pleased people.
Thick sides the shampoo bottles. This is really annoying. You stand in the shower pinching the sides of the shampoo and nothing or next to nothing comes out. Those of us with luxuriant flowing hair are particularly annoyed. Better packaging please!
Annoying charges for Internet access. $10/day isn’t so bad, but at home we pay less than $10/week. Just roll the charges into the room fee and forget it. The hotel will pay less and we will be less annoyed. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been annoyed by this. Doc went on a rant in our room what the Emerging Tech Conference about this.
Both of the finalists from UNC remained finalists at the Computerworld program Monday night. Sally has the story and pictures on her blog.
I’m in Denver for the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries and trying to adjust to the time zone changes. Staying at the Cosmos Club made me very sleepy. Now I’m in your standard issue Marriott in the middle of Denver. You can see the mountains from here tho.
John Reuning and his poster were supposed to have been here before me, but somehow his flights were completely messed up. (He’ll have a good tale to tell I’m sure). He’s still not here as of Wednesday morning.
Megan Barrett presented at the Doctoral Consortium and was walking around with a surprise gift of an iPod for her good work.
The Celebration of Pitcher Plants and Bog Gardening at the NC Botanical Gardens today was really a surprise celebration of Gardens founder Ritchie Bell. Bell had been invited to come and sign copies of the new edition of his book, Wildflowers of North Carolina and to heard a talk about pitcher plants by Larry Mellichamp of UNC-Charlotte. What Dr. Bell had actually been invited to was the announcement of the naming of a special hybrid pitcher plant in his honor. Over half a century ago, Bell was already recognized as one of the world’s greatest experts on Sarracenia (aka pitcher plants). He later prompted and created the Botanical Gardens even to the point of signing the bank note with his home as collateral to pay for the current Totten Center.
As Mellicamp announced the hybrid, he noted that the plant like Bell was hardy, robust, showy and tall. Bell, himself interjected that he noticed that it also has a very big mouth and that that mouth is wide open and gaping.
Mellicamp then treated us all to a slide show of pitcher pictures, puns, personal tales and interesting facts with occasional commentary from Bell.
Pitchers weren’t discovered to be carnivorous until 1875. Early botanists reported that the plants existed as shelters for small tree frogs. (Mellincamp showeda great picture of a tree frog in a pitcher — not this one).
Most pitchers, the exception being the purple, don’t like to get rain inside their pitchers. The varieties of hoods act in part to keep out raindrops.
Pitchers hybridize easily. Hardy hybrids even occur often in nature. Because all species of pitchers have the same number of chromosomes, the hybrids are fertile. The period of maturity assists those, who like Mellicamp and Rob Gardner, specialize in hybridization — only 3 years. “If we had decided to work on oak trees, we’d still be at work on the first generation.”
The nector found on the lips of the pitcher contains a mild narcotic which both attracts insects and makes them clumsy enough to topple into the pitcher. If, according to Mellicamp, you rub your finger on a nector moist pitcher then rub your lip with that finger, you will feel some numbness.
Pitchers tend to specialize in which insects they eat. The result is that there are a variety of insects to go around between species in the same area. Also they have adapted ways to keep their food insects separate from their polinators. The hooded pitcher, for example, thrives on ants and is difficult for other insects to enter.
The plants in my own bog garden that have succeeded are Mellicamp-Gardner hybrids, Marti Gras, ladies in waiting and others.
If we are announced as winners of the Computerworld 21st Century Achievement Award, I’m supposed to give a 30 second thank you speech. In theory, this is simple. But in practice, we have a few problems. First, as a college professor I never speak for less than 50 minutes so we’re cutting by a factor of 100. Next, we’re covering over 12 years of sunsite/metalab/ibiblio in which many many good folks helped out even if they were here for a very brief time. Third, we have over 1500 contributors; many of these folks could have won the Award entirely on their own. Fourth, we’ve had great partners who gave and still give us hardware, software and support — most notably over time Sun Microsystems and The Center for the Public Domain and IBM.
Can I say all of that and be amusing too?
Yes I asked for an extension (only good in the case of our winning of course) and got an additional second.