Sunday, February 15, 2009

Miscellaneous Info. Bits

It's kinda like AlphaBits, the cereal, only better! Here are some of the random things that have been circulating through my brain lately:

Books! I just read Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. These are both *fabulous* YA books, but rest assured that adults will enjoy them, too. Both will have full reviews coming in the next issue of SilverFish. Don't wait for those; read them now. As my 12 year old niece said "Graceling is better than Harry Potter, Twilight and Maximum Ride!" Can you get a better recommendation than that?

Diversity! I just took a great skills workshop class through the Evans School called "Authentic Conversations in Diversity." One of the things we discussed was the use of phrases or words that may unintentionally be offensive to someone. A few were obvious to me, such as "that's so gay" or "jew them down". One that was new to me was "rule of thumb." This is based on an old law that said a man could beat his wife with a stick - as long as it was no wider than his thumb.

Information Grounds! Sometimes I truly am an ostrich in regards to information. How can I be so oblivious to things happening around me? For example, I am doing a DFW at Garfield HS this quarter, which has been an amazing opportunity to work with teens, and I was talking to a friend who is doing his student teaching at a high school in Shoreline. He asked me how things have been at Garfield after the basketball game... Huh? Apparently there was a big racial incident at the game between them and Redmond. One of the sad things here for me is that I was at GHS 3 of 5 days after the incident and still never picked up on it. What kind of information professional am I? So, learn a lesson from me - by doing what I say and not what I do - keep your eyes and ears open no matter where you are because I'm sure there is some good information, just waiting to be discovered.

Good luck with registration for spring quarter! Remember that it is this Friday, Feb. 20th.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Book Furniture

Move over book arts!

Time now for some functional book creations. Check out these vases, lamps, and table-like things by artist Laura Cahill. She makes use of materials that would otherwise been wasted. Cahill states "the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle. Aware of this I challenged myself to turn the second hand books that I had been collecting, into desirable objects such as furniture, lighting and ornaments.."

While some people believe the book to be a sacred object, I'd rather have a book be reincarnated into functional art than tossed nonchalantly into the recycle bin (yeah, big dumpsters in Allen, I mean you) or slowly decomposing in landfills. And this so much more chic than those BigCozyBooks blighting a library near you.

This is not a new idea. Indeed, in 2004 a MIT visiting scientist created an entire bedroom-themed recycled book display. While I'll pass sleeping in that bed (um, paper cuts anyone?) the rocking chair is pretty nice. If only I had a little extra time on my hands...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Information Overload: Trying to Deal

Ack! I am suffering from information overload, but I hear that there are some good antidotes out there. Like I just discovered Zotero. (Apparently, everyone who took LIS 530 with Joe Tennis last year had to add the Firefox extension.) Zotero describes itself as "The Next-Generation Research Tool," helping you to collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Sounds amazing! Also sounds like more work...

Check it out.