Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prodigal luggage returns from it's peripatetic voyage

Default title upload by motoblur

Lovely open house at the new CLIR offices

Great to see some long ago colleagues and some interesting new people.

How can the #dpla fulfill Franklin's vision of libraries raising the US's "common tradesmen & farmers" to the intelligentsia of the world

2011.05.21-IMG_2986"These libraries have improved the general conversation of the Americans, made the common tradesmen and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defense of their privileges.”
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography

And here's my more verbose discourse ...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

OMG! Harry Styles @ Durham Marriott!!!

Guess that means Taytay Swifty won't be here

Getting towards dusk in Durham

@BioDivLib & @EOL folk (@UDCMRK, @WUlate & @cydparr) at Phenotype Ontology RCN

RCN meeting, 25-27 February 2013Attending the Third Phenotype Ontology Research Coordination Network Annual Summit meeting, Durham, NC, 25-27 February 2013 along with William Ulate (BHL/Missouri Botanical Garden) and Cyndy Parr (Encyclopedia of Life). Plus around 57 other biologists, informaticians, and ontologists.

On the first day of the meeting was a "Hands-on Natural language annotation mixer show & tell." This was a "speed-dating" session where about twelve projects or people anchored tables and the rest of the participant were broken into groups of 4-5 and spread out to all the tables. Each table anchor had about 7-10 minutes with the group to discuss their project/problem and get feedback/insight from the mixers. BHL had table 8 (anchored by me). It was great to hear that well over half of the participants were very familiar with BHL and discussed current or future uses in their work.

2013.02.25 RCN From the description of the meeting: "The overall goal of the RCN Annual Summit meeting is to introduce and establish communication and collaboration among scientists from different research backgrounds. The two primary themes for this meeting are the use of text mining phenotypes and representing behavior in ontologies. The use of text mining is of important wherever there is a lot of information locked up in written material, including an enormous amount of phenotypic information. We have around ten text-mining experts with a broad range of expertise attending this meeting, and you would have many opportunities to interact with them and possibly build proposals. A small behavior group is funded by the RCN to meet the day preceding the annual meeting, and they will be presenting their report at the annual meeting and be available for small group discussion."

Among those attending were friends of BHL, Dr. Hong Cui. Dr. Cui has worked with BHL data on a number of projects, papers, and presentationsGaurav Vaidya has worked with BHL on projects related to Wikipedia and taxonomic referencing. Katja Seltmann (lead author on the imporant new article "Utilizing Descriptive Statements from the Biodiversity Heritage Library to Expand the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology," Katja C. Seltmann, Zsolt Pénzes, Matthew J. Yoder, Matthew A. Bertone, Andrew R. Deans. PLOS One. 18 February 2013), and staffer in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, gave insights into use of BHL at AMNH.

RCN meeting, 25-27 February 2013
Hong Cui
RCN meeting, 25-27 February 2013
Gaurav Vaidya

The meeting is being held in Durham at the NESCent  NESCent is The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) is a nonprofit science center dedicated to cross-disciplinary research in evolution. NESCent's mission is to "NESCent promotes the synthesis of information, concepts and knowledge to address significant, emerging, or novel questions in evolutionary science and its applications. NESCent achieves this by supporting research and education across disciplinary, institutional, geographic, and demographic boundaries."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A visit to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke University

2013.02.24-IMG_0029Spent a lovely day at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University today. It was a great day to walk around the gardens and catch up with my niece, talking about old times!

The Duke Gardens themselves are:
"Often spoken of as "the crown jewel of Duke University," Duke Gardens occupies 55 acres in the heart of west campus, adjacent to Duke University Medical Center.
It is recognized as one of the premier public gardens in the United States, renowned both for landscape design and the quality of horticulture, each year attracting more than 300,000 visitors from all over the world."
2013.02.24-IMG_0031 2013.02.24-IMG_0048

There wasn't a whole of in bloom, the the trees and water features were very nice. The ducks and geese didn't seem to mind the lack of flowers!



US Airways 2351: DCA to RDU

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Yoko Ono (オノ・ヨーコ)

The Dakota, NYC
And a very happy 80th birthday to one of the more important artist of our time, Yoko Ono. Ono, of course, had her career as an artist and musician overshadowed by her marriage to Beatle John.

A member of the Fluxus art movement and the "book" (or is it a compilation of performance art), Grapefruit. Some samples from Grapefruit include the the famous "Cloud Piece":

Imagine the clouds dripping.
Dig a hole in your garden to
put them in
(1963 Spring)

and then even more minimalist pieces such as ""Water Piece":

(1964 Spring)

Though I found the early Yoko/John collaborations challenging (I do still have my copy of Two Virgins on vinyl though!), her later solo work was well ahead of her time.

I had tickets to see Ono during her 1986 "Starpeace" tour, but the show was cancelled (I think I still have the tickets somewhere).

Yoko is celebrating this year with another dance single, "Hold Me" (from Soundcloud):
ONO kicks off the 2013 New Year with a fiery new dance single HOLD ME - a searing collaboration co-written and produced by EDM A-lister DAVE AUDÉ (whose discography includes remixes and productions for U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Depeche Mode, Coldplay and Pussycat Dolls, and an unprecedented 83 #1 Billboard Club Play Chart hits). The single finds ONO as vibrant and compelling as ever, continuing her streak of dance floor and club chart domination.

Happy Presidents' Day! This year I celebrate, Richard Milhous Nixon because ...

1972Well, probably hard to believe, but, well, in many ways, he was perhaps our last true liberal president. Yes, seems hard to believe, but I doubt many conservatives would embrace many of his domestic programs (can you say EPA?).

This is a presentation I did with a friend a number of years ago: The Conversation: March 21, 1973 and the Negotiation of Information. Martin R. Kalfatovic and Janice Bailey-Goldschmidt. 1994 Meeting of the Popular Culture/American Culture Associations. April 6-9, 1994. Chicago, IL.

Rosslyn garage | Woodward & Felt
Rosslyn Garage where Deep Throat revealed Watergate
Nixon's errors and negative points can be enumerated on a very long list of course, but will pass on that today.

So, here's to you, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President.

The Watergate

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Presentation on the Biodiversity Heritage Library for the Fulbright Academy

2013.02.15 Fullbright AcademyI was invited, for the second time, to give a presentation at the Fulbright Academy board meeting. Last time, the meeting focused on the digital libraries of the Maghreb. This meeting featured six speakers on a wide variety of topics that ranged from change at the World Bank, to greenhouse gasses, to animal learning.

And, of course, the BHL.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's Shrove Tuesday without Bolivian Folkloric dancers? #multiculti #arlington

Arlington's Mardi Gras parade underway... laissez yadda yadda

Lincoln and Darwin, at 204 years old, items from Smithsonian collections

2012-08-22_11-47-10_219Never as fun or interesting when an anniversary isn't a "significant" year, but still good to celebrate Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Darwin at 204 years old.

Demonstration cases, Birds DivisionHere are a couple of pictures related to Lincoln and Darwin. At top is a 3D print of Lincoln's life mask (in miniature). Below is a Hudsonian Godwit, specimen collected by Charles Darwin in the East Falkland Islands in 1833. Smithsonian, Natural History Museum. Godwits are shore birds (family Scolopacidae), large sandpipers with long legs and bills.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Georgetown from Roosevelt Island

It was a beautiful day, so we decided to take a walk down and around Roosevelt Island. The original plan was to walk about a bit and then head into Georgetown for lunch. But it was a little muddier (and so nice out) that we just stayed longer and then went back home for lunch.

Walk ended up being just about 5 miles.

View Roosevelt island in a larger map


Friday, February 01, 2013

A visit to Seattle, Circa 1974

2013.01.26-IMG_7743 In 1974, my Great-Aunt and I took a road trip from Lake Tahoe to Washington state. The focus of the trip was a visit to the 1974 Spokane World's Fair, We hit the road sometime that summer and headed north out of Tahoe, up past Lassen, through Oregon and to Spokane.

The Fair itself was very fun. My sister Judy and her family had gone earlier in the year and had lots of great things to say about the exhibitions, especially the pavilion of the Soviet Union. The setting, on an island on the Columbia River was spectacular, and I enjoyed it all - including the USA pavilion of a geodesic dome.

After the Fair, we headed west to Seattle, site of the 1962 World's Fair. We went to the Fair site, the highlight, of course, being a visit to the top of the Space Needle, where we had a great lunch (as my memory serves). We visited a few other things (I recall an air and space museum and a rose garden). We stayed at the Hotel Roosevelt.

This was the first time, as far as I recalled, staying in a real hotel (as opposed to a motel or a casino hotel). The Roosevelt seemed old fashioned at the time and had some stationary and envelopes that I took and kept for many a year.

1974 Spokane World's Fair 1974 Spokane World's Fair

Finishing up the Washington portion of the trip, we headed south, I recall stops in Bend (Oregon) and Redding (California) where we stayed at a motel with a pool that I spent so much time at I ended up lobster red.

1974 Spokane World's Fair 1974 Seattle Space Needle
It would thirty-five years til I returned to Washington state, and then five more til this last visit.  
1974 Spokane World's Fair