Blingin' through tha synaptic corridors.

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:: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 ::
Almost forgot, it's NYE again.
Hmmm...I finally worked out how to swap my blogroll over to the right though I'm not yet entirely clear on why what I did worked nor why I needed to create another table in the process. Still, it's another step forward and I look forward to getting rid of tables altogether. I activated the table borders so I could track what was happening and liked the look of them so they'll remain for now. I have also borrowed some books today on php and mysql with a view to rewriting my blog as a database which should ease the pain of archiving; currently a manual process.
:: Sunday, December 28, 2003 ::
"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless knowledge" Oscar Wilde
My sister, in an a-maze-ing flash of inspiration bought me a copy of "Schott's Original Miscellany" for Chrissy. It's the sort of book I've eyed off many a time but never been quite able to buy. Wonderfully it has been bought for me. It is a book of facts: interestingly arranged, interestingly chosen. Did you know that the longest word in the english language is bloody long ? Schott lists a 1,185 character word which is generally agreed to be the officially longest word, though there is at least one other word with 1,909 characters that seems a worthy contender in an ongoing debate.
:: Saturday, December 27, 2003 ::
Just did a quick count and I've seen 124 movies at the cinema this year. Not a bad tally and I'll probably add a couple more before the year finishes. I'm fairly sure I used to number around 170 - 200 but that was before Sydney filmfest was reorganised meaning I get to see quite a few less. Might do a breakdown of ratings when the year is finished; currently I've given 7 movies 5 stars.
Caught the 9.30pm session of Peter Pan tonight (the advantage of seeing a kiddie movie at a late session is that there are no kids :-). It was good; had a depth to it that has disappeared from recent tellings of the story. Managed to capture that moment on the cusp between childhood and adolescence, play vs responsibility; without patronising the viewer. I daresay most caught LOTR: The Final Chapter on Boxing Day but I'm happy to have caught the Pan instead.
:: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 ::
There are some laws, though, that are coded into the very nature of the universe, and one is: There Is Never Enough Shelf Space.
The Globe: The Science of Discworld II, Terry Pratchett & co.
Unsurprisingly, longevity of web sites continues to be problematic for keeping track of references. However as more and more material moves online, for example in the realm of scholarly publishing, the short lifespan makes it difficult to maintain a reasonable research portfolio. While there are pitfalls too of print production eg the library burns down, electronic information is much easier to lose and once lost difficult to reconstruct. There have been workarounds such as PURL to enable a stable URL even if the location changes occasionally but this of no use if the information disappears altogether. The combination of a PURL with a decent archive is perhaps a starting point but one still cannot quite escape the ephemeral nature of online communication. Your life is only as good as as your last backup.
There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there a few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be.
Guards, Guards, Terry Pratchett
Feeling old ? Need a hand ?
:: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 ::
Is too much porn too much ?
:: Saturday, December 20, 2003 ::
Dealing with the morality of war in its aftermath is a problematic exercise; particularly when a nation needs to find its own path to the modern world.
:: Friday, December 19, 2003 ::
It's common to speak, or hear speak, of the digital divide; the gap separating those who have taken on board new technologies such as email and the now ubiquitous internet upon which email is carried, and those who seem to have been left in the wake of the earky adopters; those who either can't afford the technology or the time to follow. The questions remain, do they want to ? do they need to ? are they really missing anything ? what do they (already we've objectified 'them' as opposed to 'us') want ? Are we approaching the issue from where they're at, or are we trying to appear to do so when really we're looking for a way to match our stuff (our product) to what we perceive 'they' need ?
:: Thursday, December 18, 2003 ::
A Dickian dystopia captured in a globe. A flight of fancy.
:: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 ::
"Libraries are no less important to the prospects of lifelong learning in Australia than colleges and campuses...the focus is moving beyond the classroom and into the learning institutions of civil society. This is the natural terrain of public libraries...For those of us who believe in an inclusive and just society, libraries are at the vanguard of our hopes and policy plans."
Mark Latham, MP.
:: Sunday, December 14, 2003 ::
They got 'im.
Feeling rather tired and sore today, having paid a visit to a delightful canyon that goes by the rather nondescript name of Hole in the Wall. A beautiful canyon with several abseils, a few swims and some dark bits. Finally got to put my headlamp to use on this trip. I managed to survive most of the canyon uninjured, until I banged my knee on a submerged rock during the final swim, and an accidental fall into deeper than expected water resulted in a couple of scrapes across my toes. I was attempting to clean my shoes at the time in preparation for the walk out. The walkout was tiring particularly as it included a couple of km of fire trail in addition to the main walkout due to the interesting placement of a gate by the authorities. Thus I am bruised and stiff today. Hopefully I shall be fine for work on Monday.
:: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 ::
Let's just say there are more than a few bloggers in libraryland all pointing to Eco's Alexandrian speech on the future of the book. It's hard to argue with fate, though not impossible.
:: Saturday, December 06, 2003 ::
It seems it's not possible to get Manson's autograph; Charles that is. Unsurprising I s'pose.
:: Friday, December 05, 2003 ::
Interesting article regarding effective search strategies for getting the most out of keyword searching; particular emphasis is placed on thinking like a web page writer and not so much like a searcher. Suggestions on alternate words to obvious subjects and modified phrase seaching, particularly looking for phrases in a way that a website might frame them.
One calculator is rarely enough.
:: Thursday, December 04, 2003 ::
Looking for a calculator for that special someone ?
:: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 ::
Canyoning season is upon us, and while we don't have bushfires we seem to be getting plenty of rainfall. Regardless, I shall hopefully be canyoning in a week or two. Gotta get at least one in before christmas.
:: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 ::
Doug Anderson is the SMH movies-on-tv reviewer and he has rocked for many a year with his bitingly sarcastic, film reviews. What this man manages to squeeze into a single paragraph continues to astound and amaze; nor does he show any sign of losing his edge with this little number describing severe movie suckage:
'This [Mercury Rising] is a slab of mutton from the meat racks of Chicago and it sucks more fiercely than a unit of paramilitary vampires in full engagement mode.' 01-12-03.
Turning the tables on world sport.
:: Monday, December 01, 2003 ::
[valis] Why libraries are cool.
Generally the coolest thing in libraries these days is that many offer free access to proprietary databases that public search engines, like google, can't reach. To quote industry jargon, the invisible web. Libraries in NSW for example have free access across the state to products from Gale (Health, Literature), RMIT Publishing (Public Affairs) and Australian Standards. Some libraries also provide access to Oz Business Who's Who, Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book, Proquest and others.
Where do you want to go today ?