Monday, July 27, 2009

Presentation at Botany & Mycology 2009

Had a nice group for my presentation, A Botanical Introduction to The Biodiversity Heritage Library" at the Botany & Mycology 2009 preconference workshop on virtual libraries.

Some good suggestions for improvement of BHL.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Smithsonian Apollo Model

Here's the Smithsonian's Apollo model as it was at the Office of Exhibits Central offices located at 1111 North Capitol St. in Washington, DC.

Since then, they've moved to suburban Maryland and the figure isn't as easy to photograph.

Walking on the Moon


Walk on the Moon
Originally uploaded by outtacontext
Forty years ago I was in Annaheim, I was 8 years old and with my father staying at the Space Age Lodgel (thank you Internets, here's the brochure!). We would spend the day in Disneyland, leave, go out for dinner and then watch TV in the room. On July 20th, I was watching one of my all time favorite movies, "The Mysterious Island". The original book by Jules Verne was the sequel to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and is chock full of fabulous Ray Harryhausen stop-action monsters!

But, I interrupted the movie (on some SoCal UHF channel) to flip over to the networks to watch the Moon Landing.

I was a child of the Manned Space Program, born at the same time as JFK's boast of putting a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. I had the special edition GI Joe John Glenn edition with a Mercury capsule, space suit, and flexible recording (remember those floppy records you'd get with various products?) of the Mission Control / Friendship 7 chatter. I saw "2001: A Space Odyssey" eight times in the theatre, so many times my mother finally just gave me money and sent me off by myself! I memorized "Star Trek"episodes.

I had on my bedroom wall a chart showing the planned journey from the Earth to the Moon. I built a plastic model of the Saturn rocket. I was a space kid!

But back to 1969 and the Space Age Lodge. The TV was black and white (though we actually had color at home), the reception was fuzzy, but there it was. The Eagle had landed on the Moon and Neil Armstrong was walking around. Amazing! I'd waited my whole life to see it (well, it wasn't that long, but it really was my whole life!).

I continued to follow the Space Program. I watched the rest of the landings, the moon rover, golfing on the Moon, the Apollo-Soyuz mission. Sky Lab. The Space Shuttle ...

But as I grew older, the enormity of Space began to weigh on me. There Moon and Mars were probably it for humans. The rest a vast realm suitable only for sensing instruments. I never saw "Star Wars" (the original or any of the sequels/prequels! - I wonder if I'm the only person on the planet who never saw them!).

So now, forty years later, I look back at the Moon landing with mixed feelings. It was a time for me of great expanses of tomorrow ... but mixed with the nostalgia of things that were never to be.

Thanks to @outtacontext for saving his LA Times!

I Am Library 101


I Am Library 101
Originally uploaded by libraryman
FYI, an interesting project done at the OCLC Bloggers' Salon (click on the picture to see MANY MORE).

Here's the description of the project:

These photos will be in the next video Michael Porter (Libraryman) and David Lee King are making for the sond "Library 101". Libraries have, are and will do 101 things and the zeros and ones that make up computer

These photos will be in the next video Michael Porter (Libraryman) and David Lee King are making for the sond "Library 101". Libraries have, are and will do 101 things and the zeros and ones that make computers work are shaping our industry. The sond and video are about that...and about YOU, about US and our work to make the world a better place through libraries.

You can be in the video by uploading a photo of
YOU with a zero and and

These photos will be in the next video Michael Porter (Libraryman) and David Lee King are making for the sond "Library 101". Libraries have, are and will do 101 things and the zeros and ones that make computers work are shaping our industry. The sond and video are about that...and about YOU, about US and our work to make the world a better place through libraries.

You can be in the video by uploading a photo of
YOU with a 0 and a 1 and tagging it with library101. Send Michael a message to to make sure he puts you in the video (coming in the Fallof 2009)

These photos will be in the next video Michael Porter (Libraryman) and David Lee King are making for the sond "Library 101". Libraries have, are and will do 101 things and the zeros and ones that make computers work are shaping our industry. The sond and video are about that...and about YOU, about US and our work to make the world a better place through libraries.

You can be in the video by uploading a photo of
YOU with a 0 and a 1 and tagging it with library101. Send Michael a message to to make sure he puts you in the video (coming in the Fallof 2009)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quote(s) of the Day: Epicurus

Feeling in a very Epicurus (or Epicurious?) sorta mood. Out of the various quotations from the philosopher that have come down to us, for today, I choose this one:

If we had never been troubled by celestial and atmospheric phenomena, nor by fears about death, nor by our ignorance of the limits of pains and desires, we should have had no need of natural science.
(Principle Sayings #11)

You can find the key quotations online at:

Possible ou Probable ... le livre!

Very interesting video from a French publisher, actually from 2007. I find the idea of going into the bookstore and swiping the e-book from a physical manifestation interesting, but wonder if that is a French librairie prejudice!

From the description:

Editis French publishing group, has produced this short film about a future possible or probable ... the book. This is not to show the vision of the group on the future market of publishing, but rather to initiate a discussion on the different business models and possible future features of playback devices that are currently on the market . The uses that we imagine are numerous and are well within reach.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Giant Fishing Squirel

Yes, that's a giant squirrel. And yes, it has a fishing rod. Has it caught this man? Is the man stealing the fish the squirrel caught?

Answer those and many more questions at the ALA Exhibits Hall.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

OCLC Blogger Salon

Some nice energy this year!

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Seen at ALA exhibits

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Quote of the Day: "The British Government is more afraid of Ireland ..."

"The British Government is more afraid of Ireland now that submarines, bombs, and poison gas are cheap and easily made that it was of the German Empire before the war; consequently the old British custom which maintained a balance of power through command of the sea is intensified into a terror that sees security in nothing short of absolute military mastery of the entire globe: that is, in an impossibility that will yet seem possible in detail to soldiers and to parochial and insular patriotic citizens."

George Bernard Shaw (1921). Preface to Back to Methuselah. Cited from Penguin edition, 1961, p.13