Monday, March 30, 2009

Death By Television

Hello, my name is Lisa, and I'm addicted to TV. I've been trying to cut down for the past few years, but it's difficult. Oh so difficult. Especially with season finales on the horizon.
Want to know who's dying this year? Check out this TV Death Chart. There's no obvious spoilers, unless you read the comments! I'm curious to see how the CSI's turn out, but as long as no Top Models kick it, I'll be ok. Oh, and please please please ABC, don't kill Castle
And while we're talking all morbid and creepifying, here's a post about tv's most shocking deaths. I agree about Dan Connor (Rosanne), they really shouldn't of killed him off. And I do remember being shocked when Lucy died on ER and I was kind of a Kellie Martin fan. And don't even get me started on Henry Blake. The second M*A*S*H episode I ever saw was Abyssinia Henry, and I cried like a baby. Since I'm normally a rock, I figured there might be something to the show, and am now a huge fan. 
We'll see what happens this year, although Grissom is already gone, so really, there is no bigger tragedy that my tv schedule can suffer this season.

Monday's Library Links

It's Back-to-School Monday, so here are a few 'academic library' related links:
This video will show you how students approach research. The varying opinions from students are quite interesting, and definitely could inform information literacy instruction.
Twenty nine reports about the future of academic libraries
Whoo, that's quite a list. Looks like I'll have some summer reading to do!
Both links via Stephen's Lighthouse.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

If I Lived In South Korea...

Who's idea was it to hold the World Women's Curling Championship in South Korea, where there are no curling fans at all? See for yourself...
Regardless, Canada is out of the final, and might only get the bronze, if they're lucky. The semi and final are on TSN Saturday and Sunday at 5pm (MTN).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour - Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Earth Hour day. To participate, you need to turn off all your lights from 8:30pm - 9:30pm. This year they're marketing it as the world's first global election:
"For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.
VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour."
I'm more inclined to side with Mastermaq's opinion - the comments at the end of his post are worth considering as well. He's also got a great list of events going on around Edmonton.
Will I turn off my lights? Sure. If the Women's World Curling Championships semi-final game is still going, can I keep the tv on? Oh, and can I keep my macbook on too? I've got two term papers that need to get written this weekend...
***UPDATE: in 2008, Edmonton's power consumption dropped 1.5%, but this year, in 2009, our power consumption dropped 5.19%. Way to go Edmonton. No if only people would save energy all year round...
****UPDATE II: Check out some before and after photos from National Geographic. It looks like New York didn't put in much effort?! Well done Malaysia though.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

2 Field Trips In 1 Day

Gosh I love field trips. I hated them as a teacher, but I love them as a graduate student! I think this publishing class I'm taking might be the best class I've taken as a university student, ever.
First we headed over to the University of Alberta Bookstore to talk to the director about their espresso printing machine. That machine is amazing! It's a book-on-demand printer, and can spit out a paperback in 5 minutes. Here's a photo, but the UofA has four printers, so extend it a little and you get the idea:
It'll do self-publishing, textbooks, course packs, family histories, out of print and scanned material (as long as the copyright is approved), all for like 2cents a page, with full colour glossy covers and everything! Saving for students on customized course materials are enormous, and these machines *might* revolutionize the publishing industry (if publishers ever caught on to a good thing besides profits). There's more info here. It was fascinating really, and he had very interesting things to say about the whole textbook industry (which I'm actually doing a term paper/presentation about, I'll post the powerpoint on slideshare this weekend). If you want to see the machine in action, take a trip to the UofA bookstore's basement and watch for a while. The staff are super nice too if you've any questions.
Next, we took the train downtown to Audreys Books, one of the few remaining independent booksellers in Edmonton. The owner also had interesting things to say about the book industry, and was very candid about her opinions. I'm definitely going to start shopping there - they're lovely people and the stock is fantastic. I'll say it again: STOP SHOPPING AT CHAPTERS/INDIGO/AMAZON! They're killing off the independent booksellers and are no good for publishers or authors either.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

22 Minutes Goes Curling

This Hour Has 22 Minutes was apparently at the Brier. Here's the report - search season 16, March 17, 2009 (a must see for anyone who followed my curling theme last week, if only for the eye candy. Savill won the truck, by the way).
And guess what? There's curling on tv this weekend. They're showing the Canada Cup semis and finals (men and women) on TSN.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Librarian Humour

I found a new library related blog to read, yay!! So here's a few links to old posts that I thought were worth a second look:
There She Is: a commentary on this stereotypical image. And yes, it is true, but there are good reasons for its sensibleness!! This is totally me, minus the skirt. I don't do skirts
Is That Funny?: librarian jokes. Yes I know. But they're funny! For example -
How many academic librarians does it take to change a light bulb? Just five. One changes the light bulb while the other four form a committee and write a letter of protest to the Dean, because after all, changing light bulbs IS NOT professional work!
How many catalogers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Just one, but they have to wait to see how LC does it first.
How many cataloguers does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one provided it is in AACR2.
How many reference librarians does it take to change a light-bulb? (with a perky smile) “Well, I don’t know right off-hand, but I know where we can look it up!”
How many library system managers does it take to change a lightbulb? All of them as the manual was lost in the last move (or flood). How many library managers does it take to change a lightbulb? At least one committee and a light bulb strategy focus meeting and plan.
How many library technicians does it take to change a lightbulb? Seven. One to follow approved procedure, and six to review the procedure. (8 if you count the librarian they all report to)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Participation Inequality and Blog Comments

I just came across a really great article about websites and blogs and posts and comments and communities. Generally, 90% of readers are lurkers, 9% contribute on occasion, and 1% of readers make up most of the contributions. With blogs, this ratio is 95%-5%-0.1%. This, of course, skewers the opinions of the community in general, since only a small percentage are actually given, and leads to participation inequality.
For example, only 0.003% of users actually contribute to Wikipedia, and most of Amazon's 17,000+ book reviews are written by less than 100 people. I don't think the average joe is aware of this, its implications.
You can read Jakob Nelson's entire report here.
I myself am somewhat of a lurker, though might slot into that 9% of occasional contributors. So I guess I can't complain about the low comment rate for this blog - I suppose not everyone is a library/curling nerd.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Play and Learn

infodoodads has an interesting post up called "healthy, educational video games are cool", mostly as they relate to libraries and borrowing, but still definitely worth a look. Don't miss the link to the Top 10 Most Influential Educational Video Games of the 80's. Oregon Trail or Number Munchers anyone? There's some great links to free online versions of all your nostalgic favourites.
My next video game purchase? Not educational, but wicked good fun...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Murphy's Law In Library School

Class today = full of weird occurrences (though in hindsight, very typical in a Murphy's Law kinda way).
First, our prof brought us cupcakes. Sure it was St. Patrick's Day, but really, when's the last time a prof supplied cupcakes.
Second, two people had their cell phones go off, twice each. Surprisingly, this never happens in class either.
Third, someone loudly choked on their coffee, causing ever one to stare and the prof to comment. Also a first time occurrence.
Fourth, even though we're usually very good at answering question in class, this morning everyone was suspiciously silent (think crickets chirping).
Why? Why did all these weird situations occur today of all days, especially since they've never happened before?
Simple. The prof was being observed and assessed by another prof who was sitting at the back of the class (thus thwarting our note passing, and it's a good thing curling wasn't on). Ah, the memories of teaching.
It's nice to know they get observed. Too bad today's prof was a gooder - how come no one observes the crappy professors???

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Word of the Weekend

productive [pru-duhk-tiv]:  adjective
1. having the power of producing; generative; creative
2. causing; bringing about
3. Lisa writing one assignment and two term paper rough drafts this weekend
Yes, it was a productive weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Repetitive Week

My week: curling, curling, school, curling, work, curling, school, work, curling, school, homework, curling, Annie the musical at the Jubilee, curling, curling, homework, Oilers game (lost in OT, bother), work, curling.
My weekend: curling, homework, homework, curling, homework, homework, curling
Quote of the day:
Richard Hart: "What's your plan?"
Brent Laing: "I don't have a plan. I'm the second."
It's been a good week, if you discount the massive stress/looming mental breakdown brought on by grad school.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Forget The Pharmacy, Eat A Banana

If you've ever spent any time with me on a daily basis, you'll know I love bananas. I eat one a day. I know better than to eat green bananas though - Bob the ulcer does not like green bananas (and if I do eat one, my evening, like last night, is guaranteed to be ruined). I also can't eat yellow-green bananas. Thus I annoy my classmates with smelly, over ripe ones every day.
Funny then, while researching this I came across the following articles in Pubmed:
Apparently bananas are natural antacids (yay, Bob likes them as long as they're ripe.). Also FYI: ripe bananas relieve diarrhea, yet green bananas are natural laxatives. That's a crazy concept really. 
Who knew?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How To Stay Awake In Class...

1. Bring your laptop.
2. Get caught up on your emails/facebook/RSS feeds.
3. Watch curling with your neighbour, live from (Howard v. Howard, like I'm going to miss that. It was amazing, even on mute.).
4. Pass/write notes with your neighbour.
5. Take notes on lecture (half heartedly).
6. Write a blog post.
= a very satisfying morning at school (for once).
(For the record, this is not a typical occurrence during class. I only watched curling because it was a game-not-to-be-missed. And we had a guest speaker who doesn't relate to my area of interest. I promise, these events will never happen again. I am, afterall, a keen librarian.)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Finally Some Good (Curling) News!

Let's make it a trilogy of curling posts (so feel free to stop reading here)...

I am so excited!!

Wait back up...

Ok, so if you're a loyal reader, you'll know that I really like curling (obsessed much?). Well, in December, Edmonton is getting the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials, which is going to be a HUGE event. I really wanted to volunteer (as I lamented about here). I figured I'd have the time since it starts right after my school term is finished, and that would probably be my last year of being a student (oh please say that will be my last year of being a student) and having flexible free time. Let's be honest, besides the fantastic experience it would be, and all the cool people (and famous curlers?) I'd get to meet, I'm also in it for the curling jacket. I've always wanted a jacket.

Anyways, since curling is huge in Alberta and we just hosted a major competition in 2007 (Worlds, won by Howard. It was awesome) they have a really large pool of dedicated volunteers. Once they tallied up the numbers, it turns out they only needed bartenders. Ug, I don't drink, or even really agree with it in principle so why would I want to be a bartender?

But, I was talking to one of the coaches from our club at curling last night and he told me to just apply. Apparently the experience is just too good to pass up, and he mentioned I'd probably only sell beer tickets so what would be the big deal (sell a few beer tickets, watch a bit of world class curling, get a jacket). So I signed up.

And today I got a call saying I'm in!!! And not as a a stock merchandizer!!! Yep, I'll be pulling t-shirts out of boxes, hanging them up and catering to the whim of the cash spending public.

But I get a jacket.

I'm so excited! December is going to rock!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ending The Season With A Bang

It was a good night of curling tonight (and I'm not talking about the Brier, although AB and ON are doing really well)- it was our last game of the season. Since October, 'Team Laurie' (previously known as 'Team Andy', until poor Andy had a heart attack and took the rest of his career off) has been tied for dead last in the league. The Beginners League. Dead last. That's us! Until the playoffs, we'd won three games all season, one was legit (when Andy was still playing), the other two we only won because the other team never showed up. Seriously. We suck.
Until two weeks ago, that's when we actually all played half decent and won our first playoff game. Tonight we all played half decent, but lost.
Who cares though! We will not finish our first season dead last. Nope. 'Team Laurie' finished 6th (of 8).
It was a good night.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It's Brier Time!!

In my honest opinion, the men's national curling championship is the best competition of the season. It's in Calgary this year. Yep, four hours away. And I can't go. I'm crushed really. So close, yet so far. I've got way too much homework, plus couldn't get any time off work, plus am coming down with that cold/flu thing that's going around (let's hope it's more cold and less flu, I don't have any time to get sick either).
TSN has exclusive coverage, and all the draws are on tv. Too bad I'm too busy to watch much on tv. They also have video-on-demand available, uploaded immediately after the tv coverage is finished. And Curlcast has live scoring. So at least I'll be able to catch a bit of the action.
Still, I'm sad I'm four hours away and missing all the fun. Honestly, I do like watching curling on tv better than live - mostly because they mike the players and you get to hear what they're saying, plus the overhead camera shots of the house are better than guessing from wherever you happen to be sitting. The only thing I'm sad about missing is being able to watch four games at once.
I wont have to wait too long for that though: the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials are in Edmonton in December. I tried to volunteer, but they only needed bartenders. Bother. Guess I'll have to sit in the crowd all week instead! (But I really would've loved a jacket...)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Whip Lash to the Rescue

Watchmen comes out today. Unfortunately I'm too busy to get to the theatre.
I don't watch movies. I don't like movies. I don't like movie theatres. The only movies I've seen in the past year have been superhero movies. I like superhero movies.
So without further ado, my new alter-ego:
Made with The Hero Factory. Idea stolen from Shelf Monkey.
Oh to be so well endowed...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pretty New Macs

I have tech envy. Gosh the new macbooks are so pretty. I love mine, yes, but wow. 
Sigh. I want one.
It's almost too bad my old one is predicted to last the next five years. 

Monday, March 02, 2009

Field Trip: UofA Press

Every week, I enjoy my Publishing class more and more. It's intensely interesting and I'm learning a lot about a 'different' area of the book world, other than libraries. It's the only class I enjoy going to (as opposed to the other two, one of which is confusing and bewildering, the other useful but terrifying in its own way).
Today we went to the University of Alberta Press, where the staff regaled us with what they do, how they do it, and the challenges they face. The University of Alberta Press publishes scholarly books and books for general readers, including nonfiction, textbooks, fiction, and poetry. They strive to publish authors from the Edmonton area and prairies in general, but also publish works from and about Canada, and around the world. Very interesting.
One thing I've taken away from this class: STOP SHOPPING AT CHAPTERS/INDIGO/AMAZON. They're killing the book industry. Buy from your local independent bookstore instead.