The first and only convention for time travellers

Speaking of time travel… A party for time travellers, from the Economist: It is not often that The Economist uses its pages to pass on party invitations, but here is one that might be of interest not only to existing readers, but also to future generations. For this is a party that you may attend retrospectively. On May 7th, the students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plan to hold.. Read More

Are you hungry? I haven’t eaten since later this afternoon.

My friend Derek is a middle school librarian in Long Island, and the person who first introduced me to library science (so my students can thank or blame him). Anyway, he recently sent me the DVD of Primer & I watched it a couple of nights ago. I read a review of Primer somewhere that compared it to Memento, but said something like, it makes Memento look straightforward. Yes, except.. Read More

A truly crappy idea

Zoo eyes elephant poo as energy source, from MSNBC SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is looking to become the first in the nation to be powered by its own animal waste… The zoo — world prominent for its Asian elephant breeding program — is studying how feasible it would be to switch to animal waste as an alternative energy source… Sorry, I couldn’t resist the gratuitous subject line… Read More

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Not Extinct

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Rediscovered in Arkansas, from NPR For those of you out there who aren’t birders, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been thought to be extinct for decades; the last confirmed sighting was in the 1940s. Until last year, apparently, when sightings were confirmed, and a fly-over of the Ivory-billed was caught on videotape, no less. Ornithologists have been sitting on this for over a year while they confirmed it, and.. Read More

Cravat = Croat

Preparatory to going to Croatia for the LIDA conference & vacation, I’m reading a book on the history of Croatia, titled, cleverly, Croatia: A History. A bit dry, but really quite fascinating. I learned that the word “cravat” comes from Croatian soldiers’ dress in the Thirty Years War. The OED says: cravat, n. 1. a. An article of dress worn round the neck, chiefly by men. It came into vogue.. Read More


Here you go, Nelson… I was listening to NPR on Sunday & heard a story about Oxyrhynchos & the artifacts that were unearthed there. Apparently a process was recently developed that allows the writing on the papyri to be read, when the writing is faded or the papyrus is blackened (I can’t remember which). So now 104 trunks full of papyrus from Oxyrhynchos that have been sitting around Oxford since.. Read More

Film “sanitizer”

Now on DVD: The Sanitizer’s Cut, from the WaPo Ray Lines is one of the most prolific film editors working today. …the directors whose work he edits haven’t authorized him to touch their films, and often have no idea that he’s cutting dialogue and sometimes whole scenes. Lines is a film “sanitizer,” one of a new kind of independent and self-proclaimed “family-friendly” editors who delete scenes containing sexuality, violence or.. Read More

Tour of the Stone Center Library

Raquel Von Cogell, the librarian in the Stone Center Library, gave a tour of the library today at 2. This was my first time in that library – in fact, my first time in the Stone Center building. The library is very nice, small (we estimated around 3,000 sq ft), but with very spiffy new furniture, beautiful wood shelving, and wired carrells and wireless access. Raquel said that there’s room.. Read More

But Y is a vowel, really

I don’t want to make light of the very serious recent political happenings in Kyrgyzstan… but this headline is totally fracking hilarious: Kyrgyz Prtstrs Vrthrw Gvrnmt, from Slate I love that they capitalized the V. Reminds me of Operation Vowel Drop.