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Sharing is Caring April 20, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in Just for Fun.
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Just felt like sharing.

via icanhascheezburger.com

Monday Book Review: The Cheese Monkeys April 20, 2010

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Chip Kidd is a multi-faceted graphic designer who has turned his talents from designing the art around a text into designing and writing the text itself. The Cheese Monkeys is Kidd’s first novel, and a spectacular one at that. As if worked in paints or pencils, the characters are vividly drawn, and love ‘em or hate ‘em, you know exactly what makes ‘em tick.

The novel has been accurately described as a coming-of-age tale, as our protagonist, Happy, has left the nest for his first year of college to major in Art. He quickly learns how to deal with roommates, professors, friends and dive bars, while struggling with where and how he fits into this new life.

I found the novel to be unique, witty and thoroughly enjoyable until the last few events which while fitting for the disingenuous Cheese Monkey universe, were just a tad too outrageous for my taste. This was a fascinating glimpse into the kind of friendships I imagine the competitively “artsy” people in college might have had, each day trying to be more creative than the last, no matter how off-the-wall they might seem. The kind of insincere creativity that is outrageous just for the sake of being more “artistic” than the others, and ends up being more phony than anything else.

Niche Blog Friday: Literally, A Web Log April 16, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Niche Blogs.
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There are few things that the Infomavens like better than blogs tracking grammatical mistakes. And so for your reading enjoyment, we present: Literally, A Web Log;  “an English language grammar blog tracking abuse of the word ‘literally’”. Enjoy!

Burritos for Posterity April 15, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in InformationIssues, Uncategorized.
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That headline would make a good band name or maybe a charitable organization. It’s only tangentially related to this post, but too fun to change. Onward.

Here’s some scary news: The Library of Congress is archiving ALL public Tweets. Yikes!

I’d advise Tweeters to heed the warning of the article linked above:

So if you don’t want history to remember that burrito you had for dinner last night (and its aftermath), tweet carefully—now it’s for posterity.

UPDATE: Here is the Twitter Blog post about the LOC archiving project. Not too much more detail (nor answers to any of the questions in the comments) but there is an additional announcement of another new Twitter feature. “Google Replay” will allow users to search for old tweets on topics from the past and view them as if being tweeted in real time. They include charts showing the volume of tweets on a topic at any time… reminiscent of a conversation we have had in the past about viewing peaks in internet searches or newspaper website visits in the aftermath of major events.

The Music Industry and Online Piracy: Infographic April 15, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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Oddee.com, one of my favorite list-loving sites (but rarely safe for work), has produced this interesting and well-organized infographic on the changing state of music and how it has affected the music industry. This graphic is definitely worth mulling over. Click on the picture for a large (and complete) view of the infographic.

From Oddee.com

Forbe’s Fictional 15 April 14, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Just for Fun.
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Forbe’s has recently disclosed its list of the 15 wealthiest fictional characters. It’s pretty hilarious and worth your time. Check the whole article out here.

Libraries are Survivors April 12, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in Uncategorized.
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There’s a great article up over on the History Magazine website about the history of Libraries. The headline is Survivor: The History of the Library, and for good reason as ancient libraries and the knowledge they contain were frequently the targets of ancient narrow-minded tyrants:

Whether private or public, the library has been founded, built, destroyed and rebuilt. The library, often championed, has been a survivor throughout its long history and serves as a testament to the thirst for knowledge.

Ephesus, Library of Celcius in Turkey (courtesy of David Spender's Flickr stream)

Now, on the cusp of so many budgetary cutbacks, I have to wonder if we are on the verge of once again destroying our libraries? At least this article provides some hope that despite the current state of affairs, libraries will rise again. Thoughts?

Niche Blog Friday: PlayGroundology April 9, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Just for Fun, Niche Blogs.
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What is it about playgrounds that are so intriguing? A sense of nostalgia? A lost sense of innocence? A yearning for the simpler pleasures of life? Whatever the draw is for you, PlayGroundology is a blog you will want to check out. PlayGroundology is a blog dedicated to sharing “all things bright, beautiful and occasionally tarnished about the world of playgrounds. What I found most intriguing were [1] the awesome design of some of these structures and [2] the completely dangerous, now-banned structures. While many of the latter will make you wonder how these things were ever legal, one must also wonder if our overly-litigious, overly-protective society hasn’t killed the element of fun. Make sure to click links to the Flickr galleries dedicated to cataloging specific aspects of playgrounds.

From Hanami's Flickr Stream

From the Neato Coolville Municipal Playground (Set) on Flickr

'Helicopter' ride photo from the I Played at Dennis the Menace Park and lived Set

(Thanks to Matt Bucher for the lead!)

Work Distraction Alert: McSweeney’s Lists April 8, 2010

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If you haven’t run into McSweeney’s Internet Tendency or are unaware of the print journal McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (the offshoots of McSweeney’s Publishing House started by author and all-around awesome guy David Eggers), then you are missing out on an important development in the literary world. But that is neither here nor there. What I am here to post about is an awesome time-waster presented courtesy of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency – Lists! Some are good, some are not so good…so I have weeded out a number of my favorites that you might want to check out:

1. STD Medication or Character from The Neverending Story?

2. My Personal Netflix Recommendation Categories

3. Reasons You Might Die of Consumption in a 19th-Century Novel, in Order From Least Likely to Most Likely

4. Roman Bumper Stickers

5. Thoughts I’ve Had While Watching Intervention That Could Possibly be Red Flags

6. All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Spam Box

7. Phrases I’d Rather Not Be Used at My Funeral

8. Titles of Songs I Could Credibly Write If I Became a Rap Star

9. Less-Threatening Islamist Groups

10. Things That Are Just Barely Thicker Than Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows

And many many many many more!

Attn NYers: Empire State Book Festival This Weekend April 8, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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This weekend the New York Library Association is holding the first ever Empire State Book Festival at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York. The event is free and will host nearly a hundred writers, dozens of workshops, and opportunities to meet authors and have books autographed. The weather is supposed to be great and I hope this will be made an annual event. If you haven’t been to the beautiful Empire State Plaza this is a great opportunity to make the trip. It is certainly going to be well worth it. For the full listing of events as well as a list of the attending authors, click here.

That's the State Library where we used to work!

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