Humble Bundle Needs Librarians

As a nerd, and a human being, I think Humble Bundle is one of the best things on the Internet. The service works like this: Humble Bundle: Check it out! We’ve got these different, well curated piles of cool eBooks, software, and games! Choose a price level, or buy all of them, and money goes to charity! But hurry! You need to buy these soon because this bundle will go away and be replaced by yet another cool bundle of goodies! Me: Yeah, I’ll take three of these. But there are a couple of things that have nagged at me for a long time now, and dammit, I’m vocalizing my neurons while I have a moment. Okay, so… here’s a screenshot of some of the latest comics bundle that I’m totally buying and, keep in mind, this is at the top of the list. Saga has been on my to-read…

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McMinn County school board outs themselves

The McMinn County School Board decided to ban Maus, a multi-award winning graphic novel about the holocaust. According to an official statement posted on Twitter, Maus was removed because: “…of its unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide.” I’m not sure these idiots know what the holocaust was. It seems rather inconvenient for them that it didn’t take place in a clean, white room where everybody was polite before the murdering began. But in order to explain themselves they put forth that: “We do not diminish the value of Maus as an impactful and meaningful piece of literature…” And yet, they banned it. To further illustrate the incompetence and stupidity on display here, soon after the news broke about the removal of the book, the school tweeted out a photo of the Board for School Board Appreciation Week, a time of the year that’s…

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Beneath the Surface – Surrealism and Summer Reading

There’s a special kind of summer madness that comes for public librarians across North America. We call it the “summer reading programme.” For most people the summer reading programme is two to four months long, depending on your library. At the longest, some libraries will run the programme from the middle of May to the end of August. That timeframe is an illusion, because the planning and logistical side of the summer reading programme is a year-long process running from August 1st to July 31st. As soon as one summer reading programme ends, planning for the next one begins. In many of the larger libraries, children’s librarians are already in the midst of planning the next event while the current event is underway. The summer reading programme, or SRP as it’s called amongst the bibliorati, is like Black Friday in America. While Black Friday is often the busiest day of…

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Mississippi mayor butthurt over LGBTQIA books at the library

From the good folks at BOOK RIOT: Gene McGee, the mayor of Ridgeland, Mississippi has declared that he “…only serves the great Lord above” and, as such, is withholding part of the local library’s funding until they remove all the LGBTQIA books from their collection. Is this legal? Of course not. Is this a dangerous display of local government censorship? You bet your ass it is. Granted, this is a mayor who boasts about his “Adopt-a-Cop” programme and prides himself on all he’s done for law enforcement. It seems odd, then, that’d he’d violate the law in such a manner and trample First Amendment rights the way he’s doing. But ya know, he’s part of that party that’s all about small government. The mayor chose not to attend a library meeting about the collection which I’m certain is because he was very engaged with some other business at that time…

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Tunes and Imagery: East and West

The Psycho Soldier logo

I clearly remember the first time I played Psycho Soldier. It was at the Skateland roller skating rink in Union Gap, WA in the late 1980s. Skateland was, and probably still is, a blacklight paradise floating in an eddy current removed from the temporal flow around it. Skating rinks have a smell to them that I can’t quite describe. It falls somewhere within movie theatre popcorn, sweat, oil, and the fog of dill and vinegar wafting above the machine they use to make pickle-fizzes. The music blasted over the floor from wall-of-sound style speakers at a volume guaranteed to make you question what song you’re currently listening to. And yet, in an acoustical side-channel, you could sometimes hear the beautiful sounds and soundtracks from the wall of video games cabinets. Psycho Soldier grabbed my attention right away because, unlike most games of the time, the main character is a young…

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Firefox was already getting bad, then they started pushing ads

The Firefox logo with a sad face replacing the globe against an abstract, geometrical background.

When it comes to the Net, I’ve got a lot of goodies in my toolbox. Email, Discord, ssh, Telegram, Remote Desktop, Signal, curl, Messages, BitTorrent, wget, RSS feeds, and the list goes on. But of all those tools, there’s nothing more important to my digital workflow than the web browser. I’ve never measured this in any scientific way, but when I’m using a computer, I’m probably using a browser 90% of the time. I’ve often joked that my favourite operating system is Firefox, because it’s so integral to what I do professionally and personally. But over the last few months, that started to change. The slowness was always there. I don’t mind it if a web browser can’t render a website in 1.2 seconds or whatever. So long as I can start using the website in five seconds, that seems reasonable on my internet connection. And yet Firefox would spin,…

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People love machines in 2021 A.D.

Motoko Kusanagi sits in bed. The city is outside her window.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kinda sorta into cyberpunk. I mean… So it’s a given that I’m a huge fan of Kōkaku Kidōtai, known in the States as Ghost in the Shell. Released in 1995, I have no problem saying it was just as groundbreaking as Neuromancer within the cyberpunk genre, as well as anime in general. It pulled a few things from William Gibson, added its own ideas and imagery, and influenced further generations of cyberpunk media. A while back, I devoted an entire episode of Cyberpunk Librarian to the work, it’s worth checking out if you have the interest. And this year, it’s coming to IMAX. COVID be damned. I’ll wear two masks and find a seat twelve feet from anyone else.

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New Tech, New Features, New Pants

The Raspberry Pi logo

This morning I was working on a guide and process manual for building a digital signage system using Raspberry Pis and open source software. One of the libraries I work with is switching out their digital signage system and they’d like something they can own, rather than something they need to subscribe to. It’s been a while since I set up a new Pi. I’ve got three or four older Raspberry Pis running around my tech stack, but they’ve been running for a while now, so there’s nothing to set up. But, for this project, I wanted to use a brand new Raspberry Pi 4 from CanaKit. The setup process hasn’t changed much, except for one small feature. I built the Pi, and I dig the new cooling fan. That’ll be great because these digital signage Pis can run MP4 video as well as image slides, so I figure the…

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Ceci est une pipe

Large pipes twisting through the landscape.

What they posted: After SPS.. the beam has reached n_TOF! #Didyouknow that this is the first time we have produced a neutron spallation target in pure lead cooled by nitrogen gas and moderated by light water and borated water? ⚙️💦 Watch more: #PhotoOfTheWeek — CERN (@CERN) July 21, 2021 What I see:

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