Jeffrey Pomerantz

Does Twitter foster a false sense of closeness?

As I wrote here recently, I’ve joined the ranks of twitterers. Earlier today I was thinking about who I’m following. It breaks down into basically only 2 categories, which are not mutually exclusive: people I know well or reasonably well and care about personally (Yvonne, Scott, Paul, etc.), and people who I think are interesting enough to spend some time reading their tweets (Jessamyn West, David Weinberger, Howard Rheingold, etc.). Even the way.. Read More

More Edible Books

Images from possibly my favorite event in a library, the Edible Book Festival, are up online for the 2008 festival!

Prisoner’s Dilemma

Another spring cleaning post… I came across a small group of students talking in the hallway a couple of days ago, working on developing a Prisoner’s Dilemma-style matrix for reference work: the patron has the choice to fully divulge their information need or not, the reference librarian has the choice to fully answer the question or not. What are the costs and benefits? This is an interesting exercise in and of itself, but.. Read More

Windows Me

I had a brief conversation earlier this evening with Stephanie, prompted by the fact that my office was freezing. Which it was because I had cranked the heat down when I got in, on account of the fact that it was 70 degrees outside when I walked across campus today and I was roasting. (What month is it again? February?) Stephanie, of course, could tell that my office was freezing even standing 2.. Read More

Eight random facts meme

I don’t usually do these meme blog posts, but I’ve been tagged by Sally, and when my favorite elected official comes calling, I shall answer. I grew up just outside of Boston and lived in Massachusetts my entire life, until my PhD program. When I moved away I always just assumed that I’d move back to Boston after I completed my PhD. Seriously, I just couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, or wanting to… Read More

The Red Shirt Phenomenon

Star Trek, statistical data analysis, and Tufte-style Powerpoint-bashing. It’s a rare treat to read something that combines all three. Analytics According to Captain Kirk, by Matt Bailey Conclusion: Never wear a red shirt. Avoid fights. Make sure Captain Kirk gets play. And heavens sake, don’t beam down to any planets with Captain Kirk if you can avoid it. Via Ed Cone.

What is wrong with this picture?

Apparently F. W. Lancaster is a volcanologist. Click for the full-size version: I’ve been using Amazon for over a decade now, and this is literally the first time I’ve seen an error like this. Incidentally, Volcanoes in History, in Theory, in Eruption is by Fred Mason Bullard, not that that name means anything to me. But then, I’m not a volcanologist.

Twelve Angry Mentos

One of my favorite literary events, the Edible Book Festival returns to Duke, on April 2. Who says you can’t eat in the library?

The global instant noodle industry

Sad news for starving college students everywhere: Inventor of instant noodles dies, from BBC The inventor of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando, has died in Japan, aged 96, of a heart attack. Clearly ramen is not as bad for you as one might have thought. And can I just say, I love the BBC’s reporting: …the global instant noodle industry… …the masterstroke of providing a waterproof polystyrene container for the noodles… Poetry.

The old home town, year 3

Newton has fallen from grace. My old home town is no longer the safest city in the US. It has been surpassed by Brick Township, NJ; Amherst, NY; and Mission Viejo, CA. The 13th annual America’s Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities report says so. Though Newton is 3rd in the cities of 75,000 to 99,999 population category. Which is interesting, since I’d have thought for sure that the population was over 100K. (Wikipedia.. Read More