In teaching my undergrads to use literature databases, I use the analogy that bibliographies are a primitive form of hypertext: they’re a way for one document to reference related documents. Also, like hypertext, they’re uni-directional. This is actually a way for me to introduce students to Web of Science: bibliographies allow you to move backwards in time, but how do you move forwards in time? I get considerable mileage with.. Read More

Lemurs and Education

Duke Press Release: Anne Yoder Named Duke Primate Center Director A quote from Yoder: “When I was an undergraduate at UNC, I’d always been interested in biology and in animals, but I was rather undirected and not a particularly high-performing student. But when I took a class trip to the Primate Center, it just literally blew my mind! It changed everything. I suddenly had a focus in my studies. I.. Read More

Criminal stupidity

The moral of the story: if you want to kill someone, don’t do your research on Google. Or at the very least clear your cache. Web evidence used in murder hearing, from The Lawrence Journal-World

Did online content providers screw themselves?

Can Papers End the Free Ride Online?, from the NY Times … nearly a decade after newspapers began building and showcasing their Web sites, one of the most vexing questions in newspaper economics endures: should publishers charge for Web news, knowing that they may drive readers away and into the arms of the competition? Executives at The Times have suggested that the paper, which already charges for its crossword puzzle,.. Read More

Comic Books at Duke

Perkins library has an exhibit of comic books on display in their under-construction lobby. I went over to see it on Friday. It was cool. I’m a geek. Actually this was a great exhibit of early comics, there were some really classic issues represented. The first ever Superman issue (sadly, not represented online), some astoundingly jingoistic WWII issues, an early Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, an issue that was debated in.. Read More


Paul writes that the American Dialect Society has chosen the 2004 Words of the Year. Winner in the Most Creative category is: pajamahadeen, n., bloggers who challenge and fact-check traditional media. First of all, this is a totally brilliant construction. Most Creative, indeed. But this is a phenomenon I totally don’t understand. The American Dialect Society doesn’t mean it this way, they’re just reporting… but “pajamahadeen” smacks of derision. Why.. Read More

Glad to see Gladwell

I went to see Malcolm Gladwell give a talk last night, on his book tour in support of Blink. (Hosted by the Regulator, held at Duke’s Sanford Institute of Public Policy.) I found out about this about 2 hours before the event so I almost didn’t go, but I’m glad I did. First of all, he’s a very entertaining speaker. He speaks like he writes, in a way: lots of.. Read More


Does the Kid Stay in the Picture?, from the NY Times This article gives a brief history of Netflix, which is cool. But more interesting is this little quote buried at the very end of the article, by the founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings: “If we differentiate the Web site well enough, with rating histories and other features consumers want, that’s our strategic leverage.” This reminded me of Fred’s post.. Read More

“Love Your Library” license plates

NY State is creating a new library-themed license plate, proceeds for which are going to benefit the statewide summer reading program. Vote for your favorite design! Me, I voted for the one on the right, with the heart design. While I like the globe motif of the other design better, you can barely read the word “library” on that one. If we’re going to have a library license plate, I.. Read More