Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Fortnight of News, Weak

Email in 1977
Originally uploaded by Avi_Abrams.
Started, the Clone Wars have: The first test-tube baby created from an egg matured in the laboratory and then frozen has been born in Canada, in a breakthrough offering hope to women with cancer and others unsuited to normal IVF treatment. The baby is doing well and another three women are pregnant by the same method, researchers told a medical meeting in Lyon, France, on Monday.

The Evil Prairie Dog: I cannot tell you why this five-second YouTube video is funny. But I have watched it a dozen times and, to quote BeetleJuice, "It keeps getting funnier every time I see it." (if you can't stand it any more, here is the original source.)

Actually, there's one born every 0.3456 seconds: A half-million iPhones were sold the first weekend.

So who's looking at her lips?: Nina Conti is not just another pretty female ventriloquist. (Her father is Tom Conti, who appeared in, I think, every third movie filmed in the eighties.)

Next they'll be telling us a two-by-four isn't 2" by 4": Large sub sandwiches are the "must have" food of many super bowl parties. It's a no-brainer right, since most party sub sandwiches are sold in 3 foot sections, that's what you'd expect. But, overall, 7 of the 9 subs measured were short and none were exact.

Well, she apologized, so that makes it all right: Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams apologized Thursday for saying she could kill President Bush, remarks that drew scorn from Bush loyalists and shook up the International Women's Peace Conference in Dallas. Questioned about her speech Thursday morning, Ms. Williams initially denied making the comment but reversed course after organizers confirmed the quote. In a speech before 1,000 people Wednesday, Ms. Williams said that violence is a choice and the push for peace takes hard work and commitment. "Right now, I could kill George Bush," she said. "No, I don't mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that." As she made her point, she chuckled and some members of the audience laughed.

Do libraries cost publishers sales? From If Public Libraries Didn’t Exist, Could You Start One Today? "Among writers, there is a very common lament: someone comes up to you at a book signing and says, 'Oh, I loved your book so much, I got it from the library and then told all my friends to go to the library too!' And the writer thinks, 'Gee, thanks, but why didn’t you buy it?'"


Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you, but finished two-by-fours can be about one-quarter to one-half inch shy of those measurements.

daughter and granddaughter of guys who turned a lot of trees into 2x4s

Daniel said...

Caran: I know. :) That heading was intended as a humorous commentary suggesting that only a television station desperate to put their "investigative reporter" (as opposed to what other kind?) to work would imagine that it could possibly be NEWS that a three-foot sub sandwich ISN'T EXACTLY three feet long.

Next up: foot-long hot dogs are only eight inches, french fries aren't French, and an English Horn is neither English nor a horn.

Library Teacher said...

Aarrgh. Excuse me. I just read the post on libraries. It's got 62 comments and you have to register to comment. Which seems sort of silly since I have no intention of reading this site again.

So I'll blow off a little steam here. First, what they taught us in library school is that libraries and book stores have a synergistic effect. People who check out books a lot are usually people who buy a lot of books. The converse is not necessarily true. I don't have a source on that -- I've never bothered to look that up since my own observations confirm this. Most avid library readers are also book buyers.

Not to mention the BAEN experience. I just checked out a BAEN hardback from my library. It has a cd in it. I copied the cd, and perused the books on it. Darn it. There's an author on it whose books I have been avoiding. Now I have to go and buy them.... So in my case, the library was free advertising.

Someone asked if the average B&N had a better selection than the average public library. Can't answer that. The average public library has a DIFFERENT selection. When I need books on a subject I look in both places.

Lastly, perhaps because I work in a school that is 98% free and reduced lunches, and the school is two blocks down from a public library I have a differenct perspective on the subject. A lot of the people in the library are people who are learning things they would not otherwise have learned because it is free. I suggest you read _Goin someplace special_ and _Richard Wright and the library card_. Libraries have educated, informed, and comforted people for years.

Oh, and you might also check out the Library Bill of Rights, and the ALA Freedom to Read Statement.