July 22, 2006
As we approach the end of the current session of Congress
I am reminded of something Mark Twain said:
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself."
Bigfoot Battle Bound for Court
Great article from Law.com:
"The latest Bigfoot sighting in Northern California isn't deep in the woods or high on a mountain, but in a courthouse.
One of the leading searchers for the creature is suing the Great American Bigfoot Research Organization for breach of contract, claiming it never paid to use keepsakes he collected in his pursuits, including a plaster impression of what he describes as the hairy beast's actual big foot."
Check out the rest of the story. [RJ]
A Quick Look at the Urban Dictionary
My current favorite definition is: "you-a cupla:"
To shift blame while apologizing for someone else’s mistakes.
"I was impressed by Michael Brown's willingness to accept responsibility for how incompetent everyone else was. He candidly admitted he was too trusting, too able, too overskilled to deal with all the retards around him. Overall, Jon, a heartfelt and stirring you-a culpa."
--Rob Corddry, correspondent on The Daily Show
A hardcopy compilation of definitions from the site was published in 2005. [JH]
July 21, 2006
Stem Cell Wars Rage in State Capitols
"President Bush’s veto of a measure to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research leaves a handful of states on the contentious cutting edge of government efforts to boost the fledgling science in the United States.
Governors and lawmakers in five states -- California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey -- have forged policies to support the controversial science with state funds, but the process has been fraught. Like the bitter debates on Capitol Hill this month, statehouse battles have been pitched, with some lawmakers trying to go even further than the federal government in restricting the science."
Check out the rest of the story, including a rundown of state actions for and against embryonic stem cell research.
The Erma Bombeck of the Intel World Gets Fired for a Post on a Top-Secret Blog
The Washington Post is reporting that a CIA contract worker was fired for posting on her blog her personal views on torture and the Geneva Conventions. Her blog was hosted on Intelink, the intelligence community's classified intranet. Intelink is only accessible to people with top-secret security clearances. [JH]
Social Networking: Five Sites You Need to Know
Fred Stutzman reviews Cyworld, Bebo, Hi5, Faceparty and XuQa, new SNS players in the social networking world. [JH]
Where Does Your Senator Stand on Net Neutrality
Find out using this interactive map and/or tally producted by Save the Internet.com. On July 6, the Democratic Party came out in favor of net-neurtrality so it will be interesting to see how many individual Senators from that party follow the party line. Read more about it. [JH]
The Pamphlet Reader and Writer
T.P. Connor's Malignant Reading: John Squier's Newgate Prison Library, 1642–46, is now available in hardcopy and PDF format. It was published at 7 The Library 154-184 (2006)
Abstract: A collection of about one hundred and fifty pamphlets dating from the years 1641–45, mostly signed, dated and heavily annotated, allows a detailed study of their owner, John Squier (c.1587 – 1653), Vicar of Shoreditch. Squier had been a hardworking parish priest before the Civil War, and the political crisis of the early 1640s strengthened his outspoken loyalty to King and Church. However, he was ejected from his parish by Parliament, and from 1643 was imprisoned in Newgate. The bulk of his pamphlet collection was assembled and read there. It is of particular interest in providing a precisely dated example of the newer form of committed reader engaging in contemporary controversy, for the light it casts on Squier's methods of reading, and for his opinions themselves. All these are exemplified in his preparations for one published pamphlet, The Perswasion of Certaine Grave Divines to such as suffer for the King (1645).
I found this study interesting because of the many parallels between 17th-18th century political pamphleteering and contemporary political blogging. One has to wonder whether documentation of the latter will be as difficult as documentation of the former at the level of the individual. [JH]
RSS Feeds From the Supreme Court of Ohio
Opening: Reference Librarian, Ohio State Agency
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation has an opening for a Reference Librarian. Download announcement.pdf
July 20, 2006
Opening: Director, Univ. of Toledo Law Library
To Apply: Please send a letter of interest, resume, and a list of references to: Dean Douglas E. Ray, University of Toledo College of Law, 2801 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, OH 43606. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Ideally the successful candidate will begin in January 2007 in order to be in place for the College of Law’s regularly scheduled ABA-AALS reinspection that will occur in late-Spring 2007.
Buy Groceries at Amazon.com
From the announcement:
At Amazon Grocery, you'll find longtime staples, from Kellogg's to Jiffy Pop. You'll find new entries, such as Kashi cereals and Kraft Easy Mac microwavable snack packets. And when we carry a brand, we'll try to carry every flavor available: not just the most popular flavors of Jell-O, but all flavors, from apricot to wild strawberry and the 70 flavors in-between. We're also making regional favorites like Andy Capp Hot Fries available nationwide, and making hard-to-find specialties like Zico Pure Coconut Water a standard part of our mix.
We also have an extensive selection of natural and organic products. If you haven't heard of Immaculate Baking Company or Bear Naked, let us be the first to introduce you to these earth-friendly brands and their fantastic products.
Our goal at Amazon Grocery is to make sure you find the products you want, available at a competitive price, shipped free via Super Saver Shipping or Amazon Prime. To do this, we're working with our manufacturers on ways to keep per-unit costs low. For example, items you purchase might come in larger packs than you see at a traditional grocery store, and we might ship a product in a manufacturer's original case.
Because we only carry products when we can offer great prices and free shipping, we don't carry everything (yet!). For example, we don't currently offer perishable items such as milk, fresh meat, or peaches, because we can't ship these for free. But, we work on improving our selection every day, so check back often to see what we've added.
A New Way to Shop
Along with this new category of products, we're highlighting a feature we call Your Shopping List, which you'll find under the "Your Lists" link on the top of every page. Your Shopping List makes it easier to locate and keep track of items you purchase routinely--products such as coffee and tea, cereal, paper towels, and cookies. You can order one or all of the products directly from your list, and you can add and delete items with the click of a button.
Just imagine the economies of scale when the Amazon Grocery markets local specialties globally. File under "amazing." [JH]
Bloggers Going Long
The following works are written by some of the most prominent bloggers currently online:
Glenn Greenwald is a Con law attorney, author of the political blog, Unclaimed Territory, and author of How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok.
Law Prof Glenn Reynolds is author of InstaPundit and author of An Army of Davids : How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths.
Details about each book...
List Price: $12.00
Paperback: 146 pages
Publisher: Working Assets Publishing (2006)
Book Description: How Would a Patriot Act? is one man’s story of being galvanized into action to defend America’s founding principles, and a reasoned argument for what must be done. Greenwald’s penetrating words should inspire a nation to defend the Constitution from a president who secretly bestowed upon himself the powers of a monarch. If we are to remain a constitutional republic, Greenwald writes, we cannot abide radical theories of executive power, which are transforming the very core of our national character, and moving us from democracy toward despotism. This is not hyperbole. This is the crisis all Americans--liberals and conservatives--now face.
Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
by Jerome Armstrong, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
List Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company (2006)
Book Description: Crashing the Gate lays bare, with passion and precision, how ineffective, incompetent, and antiquated the Democratic Party establishment has become, and how it has failed to adapt and respond to new realities and challenges seized on by the Republican ideologues who are now running—and ruining—our country. Written by two of the most popular political bloggers in America, the book hails the new movement—of the netroots, the grassroots, the unorthodox labor unions, the maverick big donors—that is the antidote to old-school politics. Fueled by advances in technology and a hunger for a more authentic and populist democracy, this broad-based movement is changing the way political campaigns are waged.
List Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Nelson Current (2006)
Book Description: In Army of Davids, author Glenn Reynolds, the man behind the immensely popular Instapundit.com, provides an in-depth, big-picture point-of-view for a world where the small guys matter more and more. Reynolds explores the birth and growth of the individual's surprisingly strong influence in: arts and entertainment, anti-terrorism, nanotech and space research, and much more. The balance of power between the individual and the organization is finally evening out. And it's high time the Goliaths of the world pay attention, because, as this book proves, an army of Davids is on the rise.
New CBPP Reports on Health, Welfare, Budget and Taxes
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a number of new reports including:
MEDICAID ID RULE COULD PUT HEALTH COVERAGE AT RISK FOR 3 TO 5 MILLION U.S. CITIZENS STARTING JULY 1: State-by-State Data Show Millions To Be Affected
CBPP STATEMENT ON THE NEW TANF REGULATIONS ISSUED JUNE 28 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
COMBINED EFFECT OF BILLS MOVING IN THE SENATE WOULD BE TO FINANCE NEAR-REPEAL OF THE ESTATE TAX WITH CUTS IN MEDICARE, VETERANS BENEFITS, SCHOOL LUNCHES, AND OTHER PROGRAMS
By Robert Greenstein and Richard Kogan
NEW ESTATE TAX "COMPROMISE" EVEN COSTLIER THAN PREVIOUS ONE
Government Health Care Spending Unsustainable
NCPA Study Shows Aging Population, Generous Benefits to Blame
Government spending on health care in the U.S. is on a course to consume about a third of national income by mid-century -- an amount that would absorb the entire federal government budget as well as all state and local government budgets. The projection, which is part of a 10-country study, is based on the spending patterns of the past 30 years. The study can be found online at -- http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st286/ . [RJ]
New Study Finds Foreign Investment is Critical to U.S. Economy and Jobs
From the National Foundation for American Policy:
"With Congress poised to pass new legislation on foreign investment before the August recess, a new study commissioned by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), an Arlington, VA-based public policy group, warns that restricting or inhibiting foreign investment could result in “higher interest rates, higher mortgage rates, higher inflation, less innovation, fewer jobs, lower wages, and lower stock prices.”
Opening: Automation Librarian (New Position) GPO
Library Technical Information Services, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is pleased to announce the opening of a Lead Librarian (Automation) position.
Below is a basic outline of the position, for complete details including qualifications needed and how to submit an application, please see the official PDF of the posting on the GPO Job Search web page at http://www.gpo.gov/careers/jobs/06-446.pdf .
Announcement Number: 06-446
Position Title: Lead Librarian (Automation)
Series and Grade: PG-1410-13
Salary Range: $77,353 - $100,554 PA
Closing Date: 08/08/06
Location of Position: Library Services and Content Management
Library Technical Information Services
Library Technical Services Support, Washington, DC
Number of Openings: One
Type of Appointment: Permanent (Career or Career-Conditional)
Work Schedule: Full-time (Shift 1)
Who May Apply: All U.S. Citizens
The incumbent serves as the Library Technical Services Support Librarian performing a variety of professional level duties in support of Library Technical Information Services (LTIS), Information Dissemination (ID), and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Serves as the team leader of the automation team managing projects while working to ensure the team is meeting priorities, milestones and levels of quality. Leads the automation team in managing the Aleph 500 integrated library system (ILS) and other purchased Ex Libris products. Activities include but are not limited to
table management and configuration for the Aleph client; customization of the Web OPAC interface and MetaLib; technical support, and cooperation with systems integrator and vendor in system administration and in implementing software upgrades; and the application of service packs. The incumbent takes the lead in planning for the implementation of enhanced features, improvements in functionality, or additional modules of the ILS. Participates in team planning projects involving use of or integration with the ILS. Plans for migration of data from GPO mainframe legacy systems to the ILS. Develops and provides training on ILS functionality to GPO staff as well as to depository libraries and the public. Makes presentations as the technical expert on ILS functionality to all levels of management within GPO, and to depository libraries and the public at meetings and conferences. Performs other related duties as assigned.
If the qualifications described in the job posting (http://www.gpo.gov/careers/jobs/06-446.pdf) are met, further evaluation will be based on narrative responses to each knowledge, skill, ability and other characteristic (KSAO) listed in the job posting. Narrative responses should explain how experience, education, training, awards and appraisals demonstrate possession of each KSAO.
A separate narrative response statement for each KSAO must be submitted with the application package for it to be considered.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities and Other Characteristics required for this position:
- Professional knowledge of the theories, principles and techniques of library and information science to accomplish the organization, storage, and retrieval of data and information using technology.
- Skill in configuring, administering, and customizing a multi-module ILS, particularly Ex Libris' Aleph 500 including the Web OPAC interface and the MetaLib federated searching product.
- Skill in oral communications to make effective presentations to all levels of management, to depository libraries and to the public, and to communicate with automation vendors and with staff at varying levels of technological understanding.
- Skill in written communications to write project plans, presentations, reports and engage in email communications.
- Skill in planning and project management to develop and implement enhanced features, improvements in functionality, or additional modules of the ILS as well as new products and services.
If, after reviewing the PDF of the job posting (http://www.gpo.gov/careers/jobs/06-446.pdf ), you still have need for additional information, please contact:
Valerie J. Tripp
Human Capital Operations
Phone: (202) 512-1178
TDD: (202) 512-1519
GPO is an equal employment opportunity employer.
July 19, 2006
HIghlights from New Pew Internet Blogger Survey
Pew Internet has just released Bloggers: A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers. The document reports the results of a national phone survey of bloggers.
Here's a sample of the findings:
- Eight percent of internet users, or about 12 million American adults, keep a blog. Thirty-nine percent of internet users, or about 57 million American adults, read blogs – a significant increase since the fall of 2005.
- 37% of bloggers cite “my life and experiences” as a primary topic of their blog. Politics and government ran a very distant second with 11% of bloggers citing those issues of public life as the main subject of their blog.
- 59% of bloggers spend just one or two hours per week tending their blog. One in ten bloggers spend ten or more hours per week on their blog.
- 52% of bloggers say they blog mostly for themselves, not for an audience. About one-third of bloggers (32%) say they blog mostly for their audience.
- More than half (54%) of bloggers are under the age of 30.
- Sixty percent of bloggers are white, 11% are African American, 19% are English-speaking Hispanic and 10% identify as some other race.
- 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often.”
- 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.”
- 95% of bloggers get news from the internet, compared with 73% of all internet users.
- 87% of bloggers allow comments on their blog.
- Only 18% of bloggers offer an RSS feed of their blog’s content.
Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Research Funding Bill
President Bush vetoes H.R. 810, legislation designed to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Remarks by the President
Legal Research: Bridging the Generation Gap
Law firm librarians Rissa Peckar and Joseph L. Biagiotti, (Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft) have published an interesting article on the generational differences in approaching legal research. The author's advise:
Attorneys from the Mature Generation might try to learn about one new research source per month. Baby Boomers should also follow this recommendation, and offer to take a few moments to mentor the newbie regarding some tried and true research methods. Members of Gen X or Y should remember that, although their work/personal life balance goals are to be greatly admired, we live in a multigenerational world where diversity rules.
To what extent should academic law libraries try bridge the generation gap? In designing the 21st century academic law library, what will be "tried and true research methods?" [JH]