Category Archives: Uncategorized

Information Literacy PLEASE

Hear me out:

I wanted to verify the French spelling of Banana so I wouldn’t look uncultured in the SMS I was crafting for my girlfriend. I googled “banana in french” (…but without the quotation marks b/c I wuz B-ing a lazy 1) and looked at a few pages which DIDN’T contain the singular spelling, Hautement frustrant – la! I normally go to Google translate right off the bat because I have enough basic French to be able to sift through the possible translations and find one the fits better than the others. Once again, not sure what I was doing here, but bare with me.

I wound up on the WikiAnswers page for “How do you spell Banana in french.” The page contained the information I sought (Banane, fyi). However, the page was so cluttered with ads that I had to actively search to find the information.

Where do your eyes go first? To the Answer? Or to an Ad?

The girl in the pink shirt really caught my eye. Hey, what’s she doing? Better check the ad out.

Here, check it out for yourself:
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Crokinole – Not just for Mennonites anymore!


Awhile back I was listening to a podcast about gaming in libraries. Commentator Scott Nicholson was talking about dexterity games. To my surprise he started talking about how Crokinole was worth considering because the boards, which are usually rather ornate and pricey, are finally being produced at a reasonable cost. (To jump to a price list for Crokinole boards click here)
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Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence

Click banner image to go to the Virtual Resource Center

In preparation for an impending consulting job, I’ve been tasked with finding some pictures of “lively,” “vibrant,” and “happening” libraries. Like a good librarian I found the necessary images (liscnesed to be in the public domain, of course). Like a great librarian I also stumbled across some sweet, almost ontopic (ie. however unusable) images of paintings of libraries that did a lot to inspire me personally (advancing me professionally be damned… at least in this context).

Jacob and his wife Gwendolyn are two African Americans who have made a huge, positive contribution to Black culture in North America. While they are both talnted artists, as can be seen in Gwendolyn’s portarit of an actor it is Jacobs library paintings that I’m focusing on.

Jacob Lawrence is a slightly surrealist, cubist, painter (Similarities to Picasso are present in many of his works). I love the way the lines in his paintings both flow to show the current of life, but can also appear rigid and angled giving recognition of the structures exist to herd us and hinder our existence. Here are two examples, the first a flowing scene of children in the library and the second a busy, scene of action and angles in the adult stacks.

See how the energy in this painting flows from the book shelf, through the librarian, and towards the children! (click to enlarge)

The shelves might seem bare in this busy, chaotic, boxed in world, but it is open to interpretation whether this absence of material is due to a obvious demand for circulation or due to a lack of resources that is afforded some coloured communities across North America.(click to enlarge)

I am particularly interested in the heavy use of primary colours (Red, Blue, Yellow) which seem to reinforce the basic necessity of a library’s presence. I often find that the people who are traditionally/systematically discriminated against are the ones who place the most importance on education. I believe this is a source of inspiration for Jacob and a motivating factor in his decision to paint library scenes…. for some reason I am also reminded of Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter… although Jacob Lawrence looks like he’d be less of a crank (just MHO, it’s not like I know the guy!).

The Eleventh Hour

Just whipped up a quick book trailer for Jeff Hirsch’s debut novel, The Eleventh Plague.

It was agreat read and I really wanted to do another book trailer… try out some different flava’s, y’know!

The song in the background is Stem/Long Stem/Transmission 2 off of DJ Shadow’s AMAZING album, Endtroducing. Check out the full song here on the Youtubes.

Hope you like my latest creation:

Cheap Holiday Thrills

First of all, I know this isn’t a “YA topic” but at least it’s a library topic, so ease up on the judgements, Scroogmeister! Moving on…

Figure 1. (click to enlarge)

The faculty of architecture and engineering are having their annual Christmas party in the campus lounge this weekend. On my way to work I saw them setting up the usual gaudy X-mas trinketry, in mid-scoff I was silenced by the presence of Santa’s Chimnery Maze (See figure 1). I’m an adult (legally and in apperance) but I definately wanted to give it it a go… I’m a skinny Man so I could have fit, unfortunately I didn’t have the 20$ one of the decorators claimed was the price for adults. I briefly toyed witht he idea of pushing him down and escaping into the maze, but remembered certain legal expectations of being an adult and decided just to take some pics and be on my way.

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R-r-r-r-rihanna

Yes, I do have particular tastes when it comes to what I listen to. I accept that others may not share my tastes, so I’ve decided to find the middle ground between today’s popular music and my remix style of choice: DUBSTEP. I know that a lot of dubstep can sound the same…

Time to bust-a-moose..er, I mean bust-a-MOVE!

Basically add “overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns.” to a song and voila you’ve got yourself a dubstep remix. I looked up the top ten Rihanna songs  and these are the dubstep remixes of them I liked the most. Make sure to check the comments underneath if you like the tracks as a lot of people provide links for free mP3 downloads!

Umbrella: Not a fan of the laugh, and the DJ could have used more of the vocals, but the tunage is solid. Getchya groove on! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib09BFKo1zI

Russian Roulette: All the remixes of this song I found had trouble matching the slowness of Rihanna’s original with the intense bassw-blastin’. This one’s not too bad though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Rgn9EMPVuo

Love The Way You Lie : A hard one to find a good dubstep version, way too many versions out there with people just wanking away on the bass. Not the greatest audio quality, but hey this is the Youtubes… deal with it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX07fcJTmlg

Unfaithful : WhooooaaA Nelly! Dirty, dark dub! This remix fits the mood of the song and sounds sick to boot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwWIUb-ZBbA

Love the Way You Lie, Pt. II : Not too many remixes out there for the Part II of “Love the Way You Lie”… and by now you may be getting sick of the Wub-wub-wubba-wub of fdubstep so here’s a remix that’s almost the complete opposite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzyOLawZ0_8

Rude Boy :  Chrispy is one of the more prolific dubstep DJ’s on Youtube. This track is a good showcase of his skillz. You one Ruuuuude Boi, Chrispy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kv3BkWnhIc&list=PL53D5D5AEB539C857&index=2&feature=plpp_video

Disturbia : Not sure how I feel about this track, but it’s getting all the props from other Youtubers so I’m willing to go with the flow on this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3bJFVARlo8

What’s My Name : Blackmill’s remix of this song was the one getting most of the attention, but I opted for Catalyst’s version as it has a little more jazzyness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NeZuhfLIag

S&M : CLAAAAASIC dubstep remix! Employs all the standard features; the Wub-wub, the grinding sub-bass lines, tha DROP. Dubmixes may be bad, but this DJ’s perfectly good at it 😉 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Q2Xp4ZBw4

Don’t Stop the Music : Like a lot of her songs this track already has a pretty good beat. I couldn’t decide between these two remixes, as they are two of the few I heard that actually keep true to the songs main beat of the original song. They’re both pretty “brostep”-ish; ie. the focus is more on producing  earshredding bass than on  creating unique beats. Those who can’t critique, eh 😛 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfc6gdldmL8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfc6gdldmL8

Anywho that’s all for me today. Hope you’ve found something you like and worked up a nice, healthy layer of  dance sweat!

PS – Not a fan of Dubstep, well how about these two shots at the genre.

What Dubstep sounds like to your parents

Hank Hill’s opinion of Dubstep

How do you like them apples!?!

The old Artist Widget resurfaces

Previously I had a widget with a rotating Artist of the Month. Unfortunetly it was cluttering things up visually. I’m a liker of art type of guy so when I finally put the effort into retooling this blog’s layout Art got moved to it’s own page. The official possibilites are now: Endless.

Here’s the list that began it all:

Septmeber’s Artist: Sveta Dorosheva (Ukraine). This links to Sveta’s website . I chose Sveta Dorosheva for the spark of life that she infuses her drawings with. I’m a fan of the stark contrast between B&W she uses and am struct with a bittersweet nostalgia for my childhood when, perhaps,my powers of creativity where greater in scope and energy.

August’s Artist:Bev Doolittle (USA).
This links to Bev’s website . I chose Mrs. Doolittle because she has both great technical skill; her paintings are very detailed and look like the stuff they’re supposed to look like! Plus, she has a great mind/eye/Mind’s Eye for the art of illusions. Most (if not ALL) her work contains an illusion or two. Treat yourself, go to her website and check her art out!

July’s Artist:David Blackwood (CAN).
This links to David’s website . I chose Mr. Blackwood because he’s an AMAZING printmaker and printmaking along with oil painting holds a reserved part of my heart… a place where only the finest of artistic crafts are respected 😉

June’s Artist:Kimberely Dodd (CAN).
This links to Kim’s website . I chose Kim because I have finally gotten over the hump of being exclusively “a cat person.” Also it was in June that I first met Kim, so I figured she should get a shout out. Shauna, if you ever read this, get your site up and running and I’ll feature you too!

May’s Artist:Mark Vallen (USA).
This links to Mark’s website . I chose Mark Vallen because the scenes he depicts are the scenes that the Canadian and US governments don’t want you to see. Remember that the comfort in our lives is often created at the expense of anther’s life and comfort.

April’s Artist:Elizabeth Thompson (UK).
This links to Google Images of her work. I chose her specifically because I think it’s very important that we think about how we continue to portray images of war.

March’s Artist: Howard Hollis (USA).
www.thepictureofeverything.com

February’s Artist: H.R. Giger (Swi).
http://www.hrgiger.com/

January’s Artist: Edward Burtynsky (Can).
http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/