Space mania

Check out this trailer for the moon (high res, low res) - I found the link at the Bad Astronomy blog, which, if you like astronomy and don't already read this blog, you really really should. Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) is awesome. He said (in his post about this trailer) that this is the kind of thing that NASA should keep doing, and I completely agree. Watching stuff like this brings the magic back into space exploration, and I was completely giddy while watching it. This is what I went to Space Camp for!

The devil's playground

Would you believe that I am voluntarily watching a Powerpoint presentation?

Last week I was scheduled to attend two different library presentations, and I was only able to make it to one. Really, I could have made the other, but I was tired, lazy, and wanted to go shopping. Aren't I the motivated one? Anyhow, the presentation I missed was by a librarian at Case Western Reserve University who's blog I read - so when he posted a link to his Powerpoint, I decided to see what I missed. It looked like a good talk - I won't bore you with the specifics, but what I WILL bore you with is the site his presentation was posted on:

Although this site would be fantastic for medieval torture (You must look at Powerpoint presentations until you PUKE! Mwahaha!), there are a lot of practical uses as well. This site makes it incredibly easy to post and share slideshows with colleages and friends (or enemies!), and by poking around on the site, you can view all sorts of neat presentations in subjects that you are interested in. Additionally, if you are curious as to what a "good" or a "very, very bad" slideshow looks like, there are plenty of examples to choose from.

Just another fun product from the makers of Web 2.0.

I will be your shining star

I just got done listening to a speech given by the new president of Kent State University, Lester Lefton, and I am moved to blog about it. President Lefton spoke to the Akron Roundtable on March 15th of this year (and yes, I *just* got around to listening to it...) about how public universities in Ohio can work together to keep graduates in the state and improve Ohio's staggering economy.

Just as some background information, President Lefton was hired as Kent State's president before the start of the 2006-2007 school year. Immediately, he sent out an email to the entire Kent State community to introduce himself and his family. Since that time, he has continued to send out weekly emails to both students and staff, telling us what he has done that week (meetings, events, talks, award ceremonies, sports events he has attended, etc.) and giving us periodic updates about his cat, Leo, who apparently took a while to adjust to their new home in Kent, Ohio.

Maybe I'm just a geek (read: huge geek), but I think that this is fantastic. President Lefton is not only showing Kent State students that he knows his way around a computer and keyboard, but he's letting us know that he's actually doing something each week, and that he wants us to know about it. I feel almost as if I know President Lefton - and I look forward to his email each Friday. Through this small effort, I feel more connected to a university campus that I've only visited a few times (since I take classes in Columbus), and I've learned a heck of a lot more about what a university president actually does. Most importantly, I trust this guy more than I ever trusted the president of Miami University while I was there. Lester Lefton is transparent (in a very good way), real, and even a little funny.

But back to his speech - the main point was to stress that many smart and qualified college graduates are leaving the state to find employment, and Ohio needs to make a greater attempt to retain some of these talented folks to help improve the state's economy. Having lived in Ohio all my life, I wholeheartedly agree - and I share President Lefton's excitement and optimism about what our newly elected governor plans to do to help.

In any case, the point I'm getting to is this: I would like to offer my services as a future Ohio professional employee. I'm graduating in about 2 1/2 weeks, and I'm currently seeking employment. I want more than anything to stay in the state, and it seems that Ohio wants me to stay... so, here I am, Ohio. Hire me. Keep me here. I don't want to look for an out-of-state job, mostly because I'm too lazy to move, but also because all of my family and friends are here. Ohio, you still have a pretty decent public employee retirement system, and I want to take advantage of it. Don't make me leave. Just hire me! I'll be a good librarian, I promise. I even have a Bachelor's degree in Physics! See, I'm smart! You need me!

Sigh. Anyone think that'll work?

If you are interested at all, you can find Lester Lefton's speech at the Akron Roundtable website. If you have time to listen to the whole thing (30-40 minutes, but it's all audio so you can do other things while listening), it's pretty good.


As my friends are well aware, I am a person of obsessions. I don't just like things, I covet them. Pepsi is one of those things. Don't EVEN get me started about how much better Pepsi is than Coke, because I'll just get all huffy. And it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it anyway, because to me, Pepsi is like the God Of Beverages. Sadly for me, I have recently given up all forms of soda.

Let me tell you, it's hard to give up something you love so much. But I know that I need to eat healthy, and let's face it - pop is extremely unhealthy. For me, it had to be the first thing to go. And I have to be diligent about it, because even if I were to try to drink it in moderation, I would soon slip back into drinking it multiple times a day. Instead, I drink mostly water, with the occasional juice or light lemonade. And, surprise, I feel better. I am no longer addicted to caffeine, meaning I no longer get nasty headaches when I don't have it. But most of all, I'm glad that I've eliminated the High Fructose Corn Syrup that pop contains.

There's only one catch - almost everything else I love to eat has high fructose corn syrup in it! I'm finding it in juice, in chocolate milk, and in my beloved sweet & sour sauce at McDonald's. Granted, I need to eliminate fast food from my diet too - that's next - so the sweet & sour sauce won't be a problem. But juice? Damnit. And thinking back, my family always used Karo syrup in their cooking. And Karo is just pure corn syrup. Yuck!

If you pay attention to labels at all, you'll find corn in almost everything. I don't really think that's all bad, and it makes sense - the United States can produce corn very easily. Just drive around Ohio and you'll see corn everywhere. Hell, we're even trying to make gasoline out of it. Perhaps there is a corn conspiracy. Are we being fed all this corn for a reason? Maybe all food is actually just flavored corn. Or, maybe all food WILL be flavored corn, and we're being slowly fed more and more corn so we won't notice. Or maybe, just maybe, the powers that be will soon attempt to harvest the combined power of corn and humans, and we'll all end up in pods with our brains connected to a virtual representation of the world we once knew.

Oh wait, that's the matrix.

The point is, it sucks giving up Pepsi.

The Librarian

Watch this film and tell me if you aren't moved to become a librarian.

A more lengthy and absurd post is in store, so stay tuned.

Library Geek 2.0

Okay, so I just got wind of a new LibraryThing service (thanks Jared!), targeted specifically at libraries and their online public access catalogs (OPACs for the non-library geek readers). LibraryThing for libraries aims to enhance a library's existing OPAC by taking their data and generating a widget with both "Similar Items" and "Related Editions." This is really cool because right now libraries around the US are trying to upgrade their online services, specifically their catalog functionality. Here's the New York Public Library OPAC (with a sample search) - and here's the same OPAC with the LibraryThing widget in place (Look in the sidebar). It's helpful to patrons and non-intrusive, and it doesn't require any major OPAC upgrades on the library's end. I think this is really cool, especially when services like Amazon already have these kinds of functions. Library users expect it and want it! LibraryThing is going to unveil this at the Computers in Libraries conference, so I'm interested in seeing what the library world's reaction will be to it.

Since I'm going to be a librarian in one month and a day (*ahem*), you'll have to excuse me if I get excited about this stuff.

I also heard recently that the Brooklyn Public Library is going to start using Netflix for their customers. How cool is that? Imagine - you get a library card, and with it you can rent ANY MOVIE YOU WANT FROM NETFLIX FOR FREE. I think that's a fantastic service, and I really hope it catches on.

Here's something else that might be of interest to my Central Ohio readers (AKA, like two of you): Library Journal did an article about the Ohio State University Libraries and the remodeling of the Thompson Library. (Mary, remember when we spent an evening exploring that library? There won't be 12 crazy floors anymore when they're done with it.) It sounds like a really cool project, and after doing my practicum at the Science and Engineering Library, I saw how busy that library was now that there isn't a main library to go to.

Yes yes, I know, lots of library links. But now that I'm about to officially join the profession, I need to be keeping up-to-date on these things. I've been reading a few new blogs recently - It's All Good, by some of the staff members of OCLC that work on WebJunction, The Shifted Librarian, a pretty well-known library blog, and Are You 2.0 Yet?, a blog by the Engineering Librarian at Case Western. All very cool and very geeky.

That's all for now. I love being a library geek!

April Fool's Wha?

Today, as most of the world knows, was April Fool's Day. I was sad about it falling on Sunday, because so many of the best jokes are played during the work week, and having it on Sunday makes it harder to be around gullible people. But the Internet didn't take a break from April Fool's; there are plenty of popular websites with fantastic gags, and I'm about to tell you where they are.

First off: Google. Google is known for their April Fool's Day jokes, and this year is no exception. Check out their "crappy" new service - I doubt anyone believed this for a second, but it's pretty hilarious. Be sure to look at the Google Group created for it, and if you want to see previous April Fool's Day jokes, just go to this fake "Not Found" page. Oh, Google, you never disappoint.

Gmail had it's own gag separate from Google proper - their new Gmail Paper service! Can you imagine getting all your emails sent to you in paper form? I bet some people would actually use this service, if it were real. And I'm willing to bet that more people believed this one than the TiSP service.

Livejournal, my other blogging home, really got me this year. Their news announcement about needing to be more competitive in the social networking market was almost believable. In fact, I had to look at the comments to see that this was just a gag and not my beloved Livejournal selling out to the MySpace overlords. Fantastic!

Facebook also had a few tricks up its sleeve in the form of news feed items. Since all of the other crap your friends do will ultimately cause these to get pushed out of your news feed, here's what they were:

"You are on Facebook, reading your News Feed."
"Harry and Voldemort have set their relationship status to 'Mortal Enemies.'"
"Two of your oxen drowned when you tried to ford the river."
"Bracket Buster: Ohio State and Florida have mutually agreed on a tie and will not play the Championship game."
"Meredith and McDreamy have changed their relationship status to "It's Complicated" ... oh wait ... "In a Relationship" ... oh wait ... "It's Complicated" again."

and finally:

"Introducing LivePoke(tm)! Facebook will dispatch a real live person today to poke a friend of your choice.*
*offer good for only the first 100 pokers in each network."

Also, if you looked at the bottom of your News Feed page, you would see:

"A (insert your name here) Production." (With name inserted, of course.)

And when you reloaded the page, other random names would appear as well.

LibraryThing didn't do much, but they did change their logo to say "LibraryStuff," which is still pretty funny.

And finally, the most ridiculous and hilarious gag of the day (in my opinion) was from - apparently, they are going to team up with Kevin Federline. Oh, how I loves a good K-Fed joke!

What did you see today? Did anyone play any good jokes on you? Or did you get someone else really good? Whether you were the butt of the joke or the tormentor, I hope you all enjoyed your April ze first.