Monday, May 28, 2012

Starbucks #7387, Sterling, VA

Algonkian minigolf, par 41

I had 23 out and in for a 46

Potomac River, Algonkian Park

Starbucks #7598, Falls Church

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy birthday, Golden Gate Bridge, 75 years

2009-06-28-IMG_2773This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. I remember as a child, hearing about the early days of California and the passage through the "Golden Gate" and being confused because I knew that the Golden Gate Bridge was built in the 1930s! Eventually I cleared that all up!

Below are a selection of photos that I've taken of the Bridge over the past few years. Not sure I caught them all, but a good number.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Technology refresh, updating the home network

2012-05-19_15-36-33_257It had been a while since the home network was refreshed ... uh, a real long time, in fact, never, since the initial install. Things were getting pretty sluggish, so got a new cable modem and new wifi router. Here are the old ones (Motorola Cable Modem and Dell wifi router - see the little antennae!). The modem was just old (and my broadband provider sent a free one). The Dell router finally just up and died.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

QofD: And all in the name of security ... in good Orwellian style, the notion of an enemy, actual or potential, can be the device for justifying tyranny

Six column headlines still impressive Ah, what an interesting quote to see from the curmudgeon Anthony Burgess. The following comes from his good and provoking 1985. At once an insightful commentary on Orwell (and 1984), an inadvertent contrafactual history of a Thatcher-free The United Kingdom (aka TUK or TUC in this work) under the sway of oil-rich Arabs and paralyzing Unions.

The bit quoted comes near the book during an "interview" with the author. The description of United States, sadly, has more of an air of reality as we struggle - not with a Chinese assisted Communist revolution in Mexico - but with a more amorphous and at the same time very real "terrorist threat":
"What interests me is how a species of totalitarianism could come about in the United States through uneasiness about the enemy at the gates. A communist revolution in Mexico, helped by the Chinese, might set America dithering, looking for spies, deploying her immense cybernetic and electronic resources to keep citizens under surveillance. The enhanced power of the presidency, the temporary dissolution of Congress. Censorship. Dissident voices silenced. And all in the name of security. No war is necessary, only the threat of war and, in good Orwellian style, the notion of an enemy, actual or potential, can be the device for justifying tyranny.... More thorough frisking at airports and at cinema entrances and on railroad stations – indeed, everywhere: restrictions on human dignity in the name of human safety." [emphasis added]
- Anthony Burgess, 1985 (1978)

More than art

Friday, May 11, 2012

Of dodos and scholarly publishing ... a Friday meditation

0000 Dodo Vanilla>Thanks to Richard Urban (@Musebrarian) for pointing out the following dodo debate:

A lively debate has recently taken flight within the pages of the prestigious natural sciences journal Naturwissenschaften. It all centres around the question of whether Raphus cucullatus, a.k.a. the (now extinct) Dodo might have been waddlingly plump or sprightly slim.
Here are some example papers from either side of the debate :

Rather than get into the dodo debate about fat or thin (though I will say that the one dodo I know has tended more towards fat than thin), I'll jump into the topic of "Academic Spring" and say, don't bother trying to click on the links above unless you a member of an academic community with access to Naturwissenschaften through some large institutional subscription. Or, if you aren't, are you willing to pay $34.95 each for these three dodo articles?

I'm certain the authors toiled mightily over these articles and I'm equally dubious that any of those $34.95 dollars and cents made their way to the authors. Now you could, of course, just subscribe, or, er, well, not. Can't seem to find a way to subscribe.

Now, I'm not saying that the world of scholarly publishing can run on thin air and good wishes (as some do), but multiple payments (university pays salary of author, university pays salary of peer-reviewers, university pays salary of editors - perhaps with stipends from publishers -, university pays publication page costs, university library pays for subscription to journal) for the same content. I've seen the arguments from the other side (the publishers' side) and I just can't get the math and economics to really add up.

In the spirit of the Arab Spring, an academic version, "Academic Spring" has sprung up; The Cost of Knowledge website has gathered (as of this writing) over 11,000 signatures of academics who won't author, referee or edit in a particular publishers stable of journals (right now it is one publisher, but to some extent, that is unfairly singling out one of many).

The dodo (fat or thin) was like the world of scholarly communication; comfortable, doing ok, catching some rays in Mauritius. But a disruptive element comes along (hungry Dutch sailors, a disruptive distribution and publishing model) and the dodo isn't so secure anymore.

But in this case, scholarly communication isn't the dodo, it's the commercial publishers that are looking up at a hungry sailor.

Giant pile of engineered soil medium on National Mall

Part of the Mall restoration project

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mississippi / Minneapolis panoramas

From the Stone Arch Bridge

Sake flight and crispy tofu, Zen Box Izakaya


Minneapolis really could use an Arch by the Mississippi

Crossing the Mississippi River

Minneapolis,  MN

Thinking of Linking, presentation for American Association of Museums #AAM2012

Thinking of Linking: A random series of ideas, concepts, Platonic ideals, a yeoman's miscellany, and nonesuch guide to Linked Data, especially as it relates to libraries, archives, and museums. American Association of Museums Meeting. Minneapolis, MN. 2 May 2012.

FYI, the title, "Thinking of Linking,"  comes from an early Paul McCartney song written in the Liverpool days; snipped appears in the Beatles Anthology.
AAM 2012: Linked Data Session