The cooperating librarian for my practicum read Click, clack, moo : cows that type (Book, 2000) [] to a kindergarten class today.  In which, cows get control of a type-writer and begin to type out demands to their farmer, going so far as to withhold their milk and incite the hens to go on strike.

Spoiler warnings, the cows end up trading the typewriter away in order to gain their meager demands, just wanting some electric blankets to keep warm in the cold barn.

The typewriter ends up in the hands of the ducks (who were the go-betweens during the cow-farmer industrial labor relations) who demand a diving board be put in the pond.  The last picture is of the ducks, diving off of the board into the pond.

Its an adorable book.

After he was done reading, I asked the class, “Did the cows make a good trade with the farmer?  Was it a smart trade?”

Hands shot up.

“No, because sometime when you trade something, like a Pokemon card, you get a good card but the person you traded with is sad because they lost a good card and so they cry and want their card back and you aren’t allowed to trade in school.”

“It was a fair trade.  The cows got their blankets and the farmer got his typewriter.”

“No, because they didn’t get what they wanted.”

“But, they wanted blankets and they got blankets.”

“Oh, then maybe.”

Yeah, I wanted them to tell me that the cows made a mistake trading away their only communication and negotiation tool, that when the blankets broke or other issues came up, they would have no leverage and at best would have to go to the ducks as typewriting go-betweens.

As it was, I learned something and they enjoyed the story enough to have intense opinions about the fairness of the farmer-to-cow trade.

It was a good day.

Internet Neutrality

May 6, 2009

The opening quotes for my paper:

How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google, MSN, Vonage and others?

How do you think they are going to get customers?  Through a broadband pipe.  Cable companies have them.  We have them.  Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t gonna let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it.  So there’s going to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using.  Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?  The Internet can’t be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or a Yahoo! for Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes for free is nuts!

- BusinessWeek, November 7, 2005 – O’Connel, 2005

This is not a pipe.

-Foucalt, 1983

From Baby Boomer Librarian‘s most recent post:

I just got the message below after completing my registration for the free offer being made to bloggers by Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. I saw it posted by many different bloggers. The offer is was available at It is clearly an attempt to blunt the use of Wikipedia by many bloggers and other online writers. I will blog about how useful it is to me as a blogger. I actually like Wikipedia and have contributed to it in several articles. It is not an academic source to list in a research paper and the same rule applies to EB and other general encyclopedias.

Blog Reflection

April 29, 2008

I joked to a friend that when librarians graduate with their MLS, they get a working gladius as a symbol of their status in the library. I have no idea where this fiction came from or why I chose that particular sword.

When I had to keep a blog for this semester, I realized how incredibly unprofessional my personal blog is. It was clear that it was about time that I made a blog of my professional life as I grow into becoming a full-fledged librarian in the next year. This would demand a blog in which I could keep track of the bits of librarianism that catch my interest and through my trusty Google Reader, keep track of my colleagues.

The most positive part of this experience was wrestling with my two behemoth subjects for the semester, Youtube and Wikipedia. At times I was frozen at the size of the subjects and couldn’t figure out what to post a few times a week. There was just too much. Some posts just sat in my queue for a week or more, while I tinkered with them to get them just right. While I tinkered with that post, more news would come out that would make for juicier posting. It was a good kind of problem to have.

The other great part of this kind of assignment is how it creates a sea of colleagues who are all blogging. We can keep track of each other’s professional lives and keep in touch in a real and meaningful way. I have really enjoyed the way we have all gotten to teach one another about our two subjects this semester; it has been a real treat to get a bi-weekly tutorial or link and have a place to vent school-thoughts away from the clutches of WebCT.

I wish I had blogged more and gotten out of my deer-in-the-headlights syndrome and not sought after some kind of perfect post. There is an ease and a passion in how I post about gaming or personal stories and I would like to transfer some of that into this blog. As the Master’s becomes more and more complete, I am hoping that my blogging about my time in the library will become more second-nature.

This blog has to find its own voice. As my professional life takes shape, the blog will gain new purpose and interests. From my practicum to my fieldwork and on into my first job, this space will become honed and sharp, you know, like a gladius.

The semester is winding down and I’m a little tired of just posting links.

I think the next step is to register on wikipedia and start contributing.  I will post my contributions, reactions and reflections on the wikipedia subculture and community here for a while.

Other than Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing and 1990′s Dungeons and Dragons, I’m not certain what I am really qualified to take part in but that is okay.  I believe Wikipedia has a place for me.

My long time friend, Pete, is mentioned on wikipedia, it turns out, as the man who coined the phrase, Western Martial Arts.  Wild!

The Wikipedia FAQK by Lore Sjöberg

“Wikipedia is such a powerful argument engine that it actually leaks out to the rest of the web, spontaneously forming meta-arguments about itself on any open message board.”

Wikipedia on NYT

April 16, 2008

Check out the Wikipedia page on the New York Times web page.

It is pretty amazing.

Here are a few of my favorite finds:

Growing Wikipedia Refines its ‘Anyone Can Edit’ Policy by Katie Hafner

Much discussion of Wikipedia has focused on its accuracy. Last year, an article in the journal Nature concluded that the incidence of errors in Wikipedia was only slightly higher than in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Officials at Britannica angrily disputed the findings.

“To be able to do an encyclopedia without having the ability to differentiate between experts and the general public is very, very difficult,” said Jorge Cauz, the president of Britannica, whose subscription-based online version receives a small fraction of the traffic that Wikipedia gets.

All the News That’s Fit to Print Out by Jonathan Dee

When news broke on May 8 about the arrest of a half-dozen young Muslim men for supposedly planning to attack Fort Dix, alongside the usual range of reactions — disbelief, paranoia, outrage, indifference, prurience — a newer one was added: the desire to consecrate the event’s significance by creating a Wikipedia page about it. The first one to the punch was a longtime Wikipedia contributor known as CltFn, who at about 7 that morning created what’s called a stub — little more than a placeholder, often just one sentence in length, which other contributors may then build upon — under the heading “Fort Dix Terror Plot.” A while later, another Wikipedia user named Gracenotes took an interest as well. Over the next several hours, in constant cyberconversation with an ever-growing pack of other self-appointed editors, Gracenotes — whose real name is Matthew Gruen — expanded and corrected this stub 59 times, ultimately shaping it into a respectable, balanced and even footnoted 50-line account of that day’s major development in the war on terror.

The Encyclopedist’s Lair by Edward Lewine

Collections: I collect books, and not only that, I do something unbelievably geeky with them, which is, I put little labels on the spines with Library of Congress numbers, and keep all the books in Library of Congress order. Oddly, I have never computerized the collection.

Wikipedia mixes my fascinations with modern news reporting, online communities and fact finding.

Responses to the above articles are NYT articles you find in the above site are welcome.

I read something about two luchadores, Santo and his nemesis, The Blue Demon, both classic and archetypal masked Mexican wrestlers.


The Blue Demon

This led me to read about the Mexican Professional Wrestling League.  I’m fascinated and have started a lucha libre shelf on my goodreads profile.

The drama, masks, violence and their resemblance (and differences) to the super-hero comics I have always loved amazes me.

Go forth and have fun with Wikipedia.  Look up something frivolous, a television you watched when you were younger,  a piece of pop culture or even a historical period and see what Wikipedia brings up on it.  Please do share what you find and the paths it takes you on, both in wikipedia and beyond.


April 5, 2008

My mom’s been drilling this into my head since I was a little kid.  “Do not give out your social security number, credit information or anything over the phone.”  In my head, it just transferred over to e-mail.

That said, some of these phishing e-mails are damned hooky.  I’m not talking about the Nigerian/Iraqi/Chinese business-man who has six million dollars in unmarked bills and only needs your bank account number to launder this money over to the U.S. so that his family can get to it.  I have gotten a few convincing Paypal e-mails that looked pretty damned close to the real thing.

What is the most realistic phishing e-mail you’ve gotten?

iLibrarian reports that Wikipedia has reached over ten million articles.

Here is a second-hand link.  The Librarian in Black gives a link for online resources that are not Wikipedia that is worth taking a look at.

Both of these links were brought to you courtesy of Jim DelRosso, fellow Syracuse University distance learning library student, Ithacan and gamer, via my handy-dandy Google Reader.  The Google Reader deserves its own post and will get one tomorrow.