Archive for January, 2006

On my way to do my brief poet bit on WCOM with Chris Frank and Joy Javits, I stopped by Weaver Street Market to grab a coffee. There I ran into Jon Wilner, ArtCenter director, and Ted Leinbaugh, MBE the expert in Medieval Literature. Jon was very excited that ArtCenter had just been named “Business of the Year” by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. We talked briefly about the poem Jon had seen in the News and Observer and I was delighted that Ted was very familiar with Dafydd ap Gwilym who is a major influence on my poetry.
Turning around I nearly ran into Elena, who I’d last seen in Irkutsk, Siberia a couple of years back. She surprised me. I thought I had seen her on Sunday also at Weaver Street but I told myself “No it can’t be Elena she’s in Siberia.” She’s here working on a text book for use in Russia.
So Weaver Street, international, multi-disciplinary, arts meets scholarship and pretty good coffee too.

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Working all day and a good part of tomorrow on a grant to add more films to folkstreams.net which is already a rich resource modestly called “The Best of American Folklore Films.”

Many surprises among the films up already including:

Painted Bride
This 1990 video features the exquisite mehndi body painting tradition as it is practiced among Pakistani immigrants living in Queens, New York City. The film follows a mehndi artist, Shenaz Hooda, as she prepares a henna paste and paints intricate designs on the hands and feet of a bride-to-be, while the bride’s friends sing humorous songs mocking the groom and the future in-laws.

Remembering Emmanuel Church
An oral history of Emmanual Episcopal Church in Fauquier County, Virginia. The storytellers are masters-all of them members of the congregation from the old farming community tradition of Fauquier County. The stories, funny, sad, and scandalous, are memories of friends and family who are dead and buried in the churchyard. A 2000 video by Tom Davenport.

When My Work Is Over
The Life and Stories of Miss Louise Anderson, 1921-1994

The gifted African American storyteller Louise Anderson (1921-1994) tells her family stories and folk tales, and recites poetry in this film taped in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in the last years of her life. Her sisters Evelyn Anderson and Dorothy McLeod join Louise in recalling their experiences growing up in the South, working in restaurants and as domestics in white households, and struggling for civil rights in the early 1960s.

Possum Trot
The Life and Work of Calvin Black, 1903-1972

Calvin Black was a folk artist who lived in California’s Mojave Desert and created more than 80 life-size female dolls, each with its own personality, function, and costume.

And many more that need to be added.

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I love suggesting Ithiel de Sola Pool‘s 1983 research book Forecasting the Telephone to folks interested in New Media and media futures. The beauty of the work is that it looks at what experts and others said that the telephone would do to our lives. With the advent of cell phones, we can say that the telephone is still a work in progress technically, socially and culturally which at least partially puts to question the subtitle of the book “A Retrospective Technology Assessment of the Telephone”. Still there is much the be learned therein.

The folks at Elon University and the Pew Center for Internet and American Life started earlier in the technology cycle with a like study of Internet Predictions with their Imaging the Internet – Predictions Database.

The database project is more than a database; it provides access to a great collection of references to early and mid-1990s books, articles and personalites. I haven’t read the book that came from this project, “Imagining the Internet : Personalities, Predictions, Perspectives” by Janna Quitney Anderson the director of the project which came out in paper this summer, but I plan to.

I also like and dislike Carolyn Marvin’s When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electric Communications in the Late 19th Century for various reasons to complicated to go into here. Interestingly enough the Marvin book is offered as a package with the Anderson book at Amazon.

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Johnny Randall, assistant director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden and neighbor, has two articles in today’s (Sunday’s) Chapel Hill News. One “Take advantage of bare branches” is a brief bit about finding and removing non-native annuals and invasive evergreen shrubs like privet. This is important of course, but it was the other that attracted me. And of course that’s the one article not online. Luckily Johnny points us to the NC Herbarium site and the great orchid resource there so we can learn more.

“Find Orchids now to enjoy summer flowering”
describes NC’s three native terrestrial orchids and how to identify them. They are rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens), putty root orchid (Aplectrum hyemale) and crane-fly orchid (Tipularia discolor). All three occur at the NC Botanical Garden.

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Sure you can only get WCOM-LPFM‘s signal within about 5 – 10 miles of their tower in Southern Village, but they are a great little community effort in the great community of Carrboro. Just look at the studio; it’s like the one on Northern Exposure looking back at you as you drive by.

They do a very local news show from 6 – 6:30 called the West End Report. On this Tuesday, I’ll be reading some poems and talking with Joy Javits and Chris Frank. You can be one of the six people to hear it if you tune in to 1360 at that time.

And to the point of craft, I’ll read some of the strongly formally driven poems that I’ve snuck into the News and Observer over the past few years. Each with seven stanzas of seven lines. Each line made up of seven syllables. Other tricks have been taken from the hexaemeron of Thomas Traherne (17th century English religious poet) and from the cywydd of Dafydd ap Gwilym (14th century Welsh bard). Other top secret DaVinci-isms within each poem.

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Fred notices that while google.com searches with site:ibiblio.org retrieves over 7.6 million results. The same search on google.cn only returns 1.6 million.

Things do vary. I just got 4,220,000 for site:ibiblio.org on google.com and 1.6 million on google.cn (as Fred did).
But when I add tibet to the search as in site:ibiblio.org tibet
at .com I get only 688 and at .cn I get 1,140!
I do get different result orders.
When I add mongol as in site:ibiblio.org tibet mongol, at .cn I get 63 including one that reads:

Mongol-Tibet.Net is intended to cover things commonly related to the Mongol and Tibetan nations, people who are closely connected to each other, in many ways, along their history . There are some subsites which are on separate topics but are related to the main topic of this site. You will also find information on some other regions and people, especially the ones from Central Asia, who might somehow be related either to Mongolia or to Tibet. We would like to present certain concerns about the situations in Southern/Inner Mongolia and Tibet, whose people are suffering under the colonial rule of the People’s Republic of China. We would also like to provide information on the Uighur region, Burma and others.

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Sally writes about what little we know of David Galinsky’s death at the moment. He was crossing Fordham Blvd at Manning Drive as he tried to make his way to the UNC basketball game, as he had many times in the past, when he was hit by a very fast moving car last night.
David and his wife Maeda were our very near neighbors and good friends.

UPDATE: I see from my log that this entry shows up fairly high on Google Searches for David Galinsky. The News and Observer did a very nice article on David and his life on Friday January 27.
An obituary for David was in Saturday January 28th’s News and Observer.
There will be an informal gathering to remember David and his life on Sunday from 3-5 at the Galinsky’s house. A more formal memorial will be held later.

UPDATE:
Sally took pictures at the informal Memorial for David Galinsky.

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We just got our opening for the ibiblio sysadmin listed on the UNC Human Resources site. If you qualify and want to work in a great and challenging and rewarding job, go and apply soon!

Job Title: Systems Specialist
Working Title: Systems Specialist
Job Category: Technical, Para-professional
Position Number: 0053597
Salary Grade/Range: BAND III / $45,000 – $95,000
FT/PT: Full Time
Hours Per Week: 40
Permanent/Time Limited: Permanent
Department Name: School Of Info & Libr Science
Department Number: 3701
Date First Posted: 01/25/2006
Closing Date: 02/10/2006
Location: Chapel Hill

Minimum Education and Experience:
The specialist band requires a foundation of knowledge and skills in area of specialization generally obtained from graduating from a four-year college or university with a major in information technology, computer science, or a closely related field and three years of experience in operations analysis and design, systems programming, or a closely related field. Experience in the field of work related to the position’s role may be substituted on a year-for-year basis.

Essential Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
PLEASE NOTE: All IT positions have moved to a new Career Banding compensation program. For additional information, please refer to our website for details. Specific competencies are required for the different banded levels and roles. This position is being recruited for at the Journey Competency Level under this Career Banding program.
The hiring range for the Journey Level is $64,167 – $77,000.

Preferred Qualifications:
This position will help run one of the world’s most recognized net-entities! ibiblio.org is completely dedicated to open source and to open information. We are looking for a systems specialist to join our team and to lead in the architecture and administration of the ibiblio technical infrastructure.

Prefer strong experience with Linux, LVS, Advanced Networking, Security, Databases (mySQL), Apache, and large scale server management. Previous ISP or high traffic infrastructure management experience a big plus. This position will also be involved in the management of highly motivated student employees and in interactions with international contributors as well as local groups and research faculty. This position will be a liaison to vendors, a presenter at conferences and occasional co-researcher with faculty.

Special Physical/Mental Requirements:
None Listed.

Position/Work Schedule Requirements: M-F 800 – 500

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Michael Newton reminded me that today is Burns Night. I’ll have to break out the Ardbeg and break out in song. Dirty ditty from Robby. And a famous mild one with audio.

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After years of ‘beta’ status, Krishna Bharat announces that Google News has gone full production.

At the same time, Bayosphere creator and veteran tech-journalist Dan Gillmor writes about the lessons he’s learned from the Bayosphere and about his new Center for Citizen Media in A Letter to the Bayosphere Community.

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Not quite the James Bond nemesis, but today Tucker took on a bit of titanium.

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I just got back from a great talk by Koleman Strumpf at Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. He’s added movie trading to his file-sharing study so I got to hear a lot of new news. Basically, trading movies is now worse economically than trading music (at the current quality levels at least).
But when I got back, Fred and a guy from Carolina Week had taken over my office. Except for my shabby mess, it looked like a TV studio. Fred’ll be on later in the week talking about FaceBook and social networking.

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UPDATE: These dogs found a great home last night (01/25/06). They no longer need to be adopted.

A collegue writes seeking a home for older mini-schnauzers. Her note below:

One of our emeritus faculty members entered assisted living on December 19th. As part of her agreement to go, my mother and I said we would take her two little schnauzers, Strudel and Hugo. They are cute and starting to grow on us but mother, who is 83, and I already have two very large standard poodles. No matter what we try the four dogs do not seem to like each other. Well, that’s putting it very gently. It is just too much for us to keep all the dogs apart and I need to find Strudel and Hugo a new home or homes. We tried this for a month put sadly have failed.

I am in desperate need to find a foster home. I say foster because the original owner will pay for all food, health care, and all other expenses related to the dogs for as long as they live. They have had good health care and all their shots, etc. Strudel will be 12 in May and Hugo will be 11. While they could live another five years, being little dogs, it is unlikely if I have to take them to Schnauzer rescue that anyone will really want them. It is so sad to be old and unwanted.

These two can go together or separately to a home where there are no other dogs (well, Hugo could go anywhere, I think, but Strudel needs to be alone or with Hugo) and someone can love them in their elderly years. I am afraid they are not feeling very loved in the house with the monster poodles. They are house trained, do not chew furniture or the like, come when called, and enjoy patting and cuddling – especially Strudel! I dearly wish I could keep them. I feel terrible, but we just don’t seem to be making this work. If anyone is out there who would like a little companion who is just looking for love and affection this is your cost-free chance.

Contact Helen Tibbo at tibbo AT ils.unc.edu or leave a comment here.

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Koleman Strumpf will be speaking at Duke on “The Economic effects of P2P file sharing.” Amazing that I have to go to Duke to hear Koleman speak. Jennifer Jenkins of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain writes:

In 2004, Professor Koleman Strumpf co-authored an empirical study concluding that downloading has no statistically significant effect on record sales, and can even boost them. The study was called everything from “heretical” to “absolutely astounding” to “incomprehensible” (by an industry spokesperson). Come hear Professor Strumpf discuss his continuing work on the economic effects of file sharing at our first Information Ecology lecture of 2006. It will take place on Monday, January 23, at 12:15pm. Details are below.

Professor Koleman Strumpf of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“The Effect of File Sharing on the Sale of Entertainment Products: The Case of Recorded Music and Movies”

Date: 1/23/06
Time: 12:15 p.m.
Location: Duke Law School, Room 3041
Lunch will be served

For industries ranging from software to pharmaceuticals and entertainment, there is an intense debate about the level of protection for intellectual property that is necessary to ensure innovation. In the case of digital information goods, web-based technologies provide a natural crucible to assess the implications of reduced protection because these technologies have drastically lowered the cost of copying information. This talk will discuss empirical evidence of the crowd-out effect of file sharing on entertainment products such as music and movies.

Professor Koleman Strumpf’s research interests are in applied microeconomics with an emphasis on policy applications. His current work focuses on P2P file sharing, prediction markets (such as political wagering markets or sports betting), and the economics of criminal behavior in illegal sports bookmaking. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Science, Economist, Business Week, Rolling Stone, and Variety. He has appeared on ABC News, Nightline, CNN, CNBC, C-Span, NPR, and Bloomberg Radio.

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Rosenthal: Big Man and Child
John Rosenthal has a great eye, a steady hand, a wonderful sense of composition and a tendency to reveal humor in a very smart way. Today was the opening of John’s show at Tyndall Galleries. Most of the images were taken in galleries and to good effect like the one above of a child looking at Ron Mueck’s Untitled (Big Man) sculpture in the Hirshhorn Gallery.
There was a very good turn out of writers, photographers and artists as well as lookers.
Next Sunday, John will be giving a gallery talk from 2 – 3 there.

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Have I been dealing death to my espresso machine by bad grinding? I love my Solis Crema 70 which has been doing a fine job for the past 5 or so years, but a while bad I noticed the flow was slow. I cleaned the machine. That improved things, but occassionally it still slowed. I ground more and more using my Krup blade grinder and that caused things to be worse instead of better. Next the Krup started gasping (not related to the Solis I think). The fine powered coffee had sifted into the power switch. I shook that loose a few times and it kept acting like it would work just a little more.
Today I decided to replace the Krup. There was a nice selection at Southern Season that included a new Krup model. I got a new Krup. When I opened the instructions, I learned that blade grinders are deemed not acceptable for pump espresso machines. Fine for drips and plungers, but no no espresso. Why? The fine powder clogs the wonderful crema pin point holes. Damn, that’s it I thought.
I went back and looked at burr grinders. They are much more expensive and giant. I’m not opening my own cafe with my lovely little two shots at a time Solis. I don’t need a 14 inch high, giant binned, industrial grinder — do I? I’m looking at alternatives now. Solis has a Maestro Plus that looks tempting but a bit steep. What’s a cheapskate coffee snob to do?

UPDATE: I went ahead and picked up a Bodum Antigua (as Badi suggested) tonight. My first cup of espresso out of the Solis Crema is the best I’ve had from that machine. Putting in store-ground espresso was good but this is better.

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BlueNC asks you to choose Democrat or Republican as you gaze upon pictures 0f 12 elected officials (all male, all white all in suits). If you get 8 right, you’re in the Hall of Fame.
Is there a difference?

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I just finished talking with Sergio Quintana of NBC 17. The interview will run during sweeps week in February. No one knows what night.

I talked about blogs. How they are powerful because they have an intimate and personal voice. This is exactly the problem with blogs. They are intimate and personal. We have no ground rules culturally to deal with this new public intimacy. Should blogs be treated like diaries or like billboards? We are circumspect (or should be) about material from a private realm like a diary, but we consider billboard information to be completely public. We spoke a little about Facebook and Fred Stutzman’s research which showed that UNC students highly value their privacy when ask, but in practice on Facebook they reveal all the information that they listed as particularly private.

Also mentioned were last year’s Triangle Bloggers Conference and this year’s Podcastercon (the last covered by Sergio). I got in a little about Dan Gillmor’s Center for Citizen Media too.

We didn’t get to talk about car songs tho.

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I’m up to talk to Sergio Quintana of NBC 17 about a couple of things technical and cultural later today.

One will be about tech savvy kids and their use of tech language. he’s all excited that kids know what a wav file is. Heck, in my day we not only knew the name of every car part and its manufacturer, but that stuff was in our music. “Little GTO” “Little Deuce Coupe” “409 (She’s So Fine)”
Now they don’t make songs like that about computers and cell phones! (and it’s a good thing too ;->).

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Way back in the day, we hosted some projects being developed by Jay Maynard. Then all hell broke loose. Jay became Tron Guy and a net icon of sorts. Jay still keeps a Public Domain IBM Mainframe software collection on ibiblio, but Tron Guy has taken on a life of his own (appropriately at tronguy.net).
I included Tron Guy as an enrichment link for INLS092 today. A few hours after I added the link to the class blog, I got a note from Jay who is monitoring RSS links to his site. You can’t fool Tron Guy.
After a little conversation, Jay sent me a copy of a top secret Tron Guy video done with the folks down at DAVE in Orlando.
I can’t release the video (Jay says hold on), but I did screen it and I can say that Cindy Morgan is just as lovely as ever and that Tron Guy does a better job than the original Tron actor. In the meantime, Jay aka Tron Guy has some very funny videos on his site.

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