Professional-Lurker blog was listed as the Feedster Feed of the Day on November 13, 2005.
Professional-Lurker blog was the recipient of Best Research Based Blog High Esteem ranking in the 2004 EduBlog Awards.
The blogger is co-author of the 2004 EduBlog Awards winning paper Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs.
Joseph Fire Crow
Folk Alley: Folk Music, Traditional Music, Celtic Music, and World Music an online radio station
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George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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August 31, 2004
End of Month Advisory Committee Report
August has been a slow month looking at the number of things accomplished. Though this is pretty misleading since much of the work has been research which is somewhat invisible until a written product is produced. September is a busy month though, which will keep me on my toes.
Writing vs. working
Of course once I write about being unemployed and my plans for fall semester I get a job offer. My friend Sadie, who formerly owned The Filling Station in Hope IN, asked if I would be interested in a part-time lunch hostess position at Sadie's Diner in Columbus, the hours listed on the link are incorrect call to check current hours. The job would be three hours a day, four days a week - which would definitely give me some spending money but not take up to much research and writing time.
I'm considering taking her up on the offer. She has agreed that we can work around my already scheduled commitments until Christmas, since my Fellowship starts in January this would only be a fall semester gig. Oh well I'm thinking on it for today.
Posted by prolurkr at 01:16 PM
August 30, 2004
I've been playing with badges for this blog. It's been an interesting process both in finding badges online and in learning to install them on the blog. Or should I say installing them so that there is still some over all design sense to everything. Not sure I've reached that goal yet.
I hope when I get the new design I can corral these babies somewhere. They need to be accessible and useful but not to detract from the overall design. I hate when things pop-up over things. *shivers*
The quest for the perfect blog design continues.
A chilly Monday morning in August
After a breakfast of almond butter on sourdough toast and a glass of blueberry juice, consumed sequentially since even I can't deal with two really strong and unique flavors at once and yes I eat this cause I like it, and two hours of email and editing the paper - I am heading out the door for my first Pilates class. Figured since this is my semester without classes - no classes to take and no regular classes to teach although I do have a "guest lecture" or two on the schedule - it was time to get my butt in shape for all the writing I have to complete in the next four months.
I'm interested to see how much different exercises in this class will be from the ones shown on the Winsor Pilates infomercials you see on late night and weekend TV. "Just 20 minutes 3 times a week" and you can look like Daisy Fuentes. Yeah right, 20 minutes 3 times a week and 80 or 90 thousand for surgery, oh and a complete gene replacement. LOL
Exercise has never been my favorite activity...I'm more of a thinking girl. But the lack there of is taking it's toll. So it's time for me to apply some of my considerable willpower to getting myself into reasonable shape - my hubby said the "considerable willpower" thing not me. I've been doing my deep water workouts in town since the first of the summer and I feel much better. Now hopefully with some mat work I can look better too. I want to get rid of more of my old 9-to-5 clothes and get some cool professor stuff instead - a bit more funky with lots of color, and no fat skirts with buttons up the front. *shivers*
The rest of the day will be tied up with finishing "THE PAPER." LOL It's become a bit consuming but then any big project usually does.
Then, once it's done, I begin on quals chapters. First "Technological Determanism and early Computer-Mediated Communication." That's the working title only. LOL Oh and I have a short piece to write on "why I blog" to be submitted to a journal. Gotta get those publication credits for next calendar year working. *w*
August 29, 2004
Writing crunch day and the threads of academic pursuit
Today is my crunch day on this paper, I need to have it cleared out so I can send it off to my copy editor and move on to the next project. In writing this work I've been combing through books and journal articles on such diverse topics as: 1) diaries, 2) performance, 3) cultural studies, 4) personal relationships, 5) audience theory, and 6) mass market books on blogs and blogging. As well as my usual tomes on adolescent development, and computer-mediated communication. Needless to say the study is a mess, especially since my attitude toward citation is that "more is always better." I rarely submit a full-length paper, for publication or for class, that has fewer then 30 citations.
With the paper I am writing I have been attempting to make changes in the organization structure I have been taught to use for academic writing. I have to admit that strict adherence to the format does help a new writer organize material effectively, lord knows it helped me, but the finished paper lacks a light and flow I want to ultimately achieve in my writing. For an example see:
- Scheidt, Lois Ann & Wright, Elijah (2004). Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs. In Laura J. Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Clancy Ratliff, & Jessica Reyman (Eds.), Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.
I am excited about this paper both because of the writing flow and the topics. I think I have pulled together some very divergent threads and shed some new light on blogs through this work. Of course since this is being submitted for a peer-reviewed edited volume only time will tell if this paper is good enough for prime time or if it should go on the bottom of the birdcage.
I won't meet my goal of finishing the paper today, though the end is in sight. Another day or so and I should have it nailed. Then I can reshelve all the books so that the new piles can take over.
August 26, 2004
Romancing the Stone, The Outlandish Companion, and the unwashed writer
Anyone remember the first time we are introduced to Joan Wilder the lead character in Romancing the Stone, the 1984 movie with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas? In one of the first scenes you see Wilder, Turner's character, working in her New York apartment. She is a romance writer finishing a new book and we find her huddled over her typewriter wrapped in a blanket, unwashed, and with a crusty cup on the desk next to her. There is great dialogue in this scene between Wilder and the book's editor, who has come to see how things are going, great dialog about the effect of writing on the writer.
Well today I feel like Wilder. I found the release for my writers block - identify and know your own fear - and have been pounding the computer keys since early this morning. I finally got dressed at about 1:00pm and did so only because I was cold on this rainy August day. Cold is a great motivator. I ate for the first time at about 2:30pm, after hours of my stomach rumbling for food I simply could deny myself no longer..."Just one more paragraph. Oh what was that citation? *looking something up in Reference Manager then off to grab a book from the bookshelves* Just one more paragraph." Lie to yourself, write, repeat.
So here I am at 6:48pm (Indiana time) up to my arm pits in stacks of books pulled from the shelves in search of general and generalizable definitions for terms I am using in this paper "audience", "reader", "performance narrative", etc. I will probably open a can of pears for dinner and eat them right out of the can, with a spoon of course since they are diced pears - a lady must have some style points available to her. *w*
I'm so in the groove that I even looked on the bookshelves for Diana Gabaldon's The Outlandish Companion, a book about her award winning adventure/romance series but mostly about the process of writing. I have made sections of it available to my undergraduate students to help them formulate a writing project in classes I have previously taught. As memory servers she has a section on the effects of the act of writing upon the writer. But I can't give you an quotes because at the moment I can't find it. *does a zen-like move to clear her chi* Not to dwell on that now.
So back to sorting out definitions to substantiate a theory. Theory making is good. *evil grin*
August 24, 2004
The art of blogging
I've been thinking lately about the art of blogging and why people blog, as part of the writing I've been doing on audiences and possibly to design a class. So in looking for blog entries about blogging itself I ran across this quiz. Take it yourself and see how you score.
Words captivate me. And, I like to capture words. Blogging enables me to write often. It also provides a place for me to share what I write with a reading public. I can be funny, inspiring, intelligent, cynical, or morbid. It doesn't matter what I write about in my blog. It only matters that I write.
Growth of the blog
Yesterday was a banner day. You see last month, about the 26th or so, I started getting emails from my blog ISP telling me the blog was pulling down 80% of allocated bandwidth. But it was close to the end of the month so I waited it out and never topped the 500 meg I paid for as part of my utilization package.
Well this month the emails started coming 18th. I had wondered if there were staged emails for say 80% and 90% but I found out yesterday when I called my ISP it is only "In excess of 80%." So I upped my bandwith allocation to 1000 meg. Which was a very good choice as end of day yesterday the utilization had jumped to 528.26 meg.
Growth is good. Thanks
August 22, 2004
A peaceful weekend in the hills
Earlier this year they were blessed when the tornados jumped their ridge topping a couple of trees but leaving everything else basically untouched. Hubby and I had not been down to visit since the weather event, and we were surprised how much damage surrounded their home. One forested area looked like it had been attacked by a rampaging Cuisinart and the roads were pockmarked and crumbling.
Once at the cabin it was nice to spend last evening and most of today just sitting on their front porch looking out at the koi pond and watching skinks sun themselves on the boulders. A gathering of comfortable chairs and a great quiet view create a truly peaceful way to rest and enjoy the company of good friends.
Thank you for a lovely weekend.
August 20, 2004
New professional portrait
I mentioned last week that I had had new professional portraits done at The Studio and that I was so pleased with them even before they did any touch-ups, etc. I got the final versions today and thought I would post the informal fun shot here for your enjoyment. The remaining shots are somewhat more serious looking and will make their way onto this site over time.
Click on the image to go to a larger version.
Dan Fogelberg announces he has prostate cancer
Dan Fogelberg has announced that his 2004 Tour cancellation is due to his recent diagnosis with and treatment for advanced prostate cancer. I want to add my wishes for a full and speedy recovery to those of other long time fans as he and his family navigate their way through his illness and treatment.
I have been a Fogelberg fan since I was a college freshman and he played Purdue University's Elliott Hall of Music in 1978, back when big name musicians still played on college campus'. He had just released his fourth album Nether Lands and was on tour to promote its sales. To be honest I don't think I had the slightest idea who he was when I bought the ticket from a guy in one of my classes. But I loved the idea of seeing someone perform live so I spent the money, what would it have been $15 or so (probably my entire disposable income for the month) - ain't inflation wonderful, and went to my first big time live concert. I sat in the first or second balcony by myself, slowing leaning more and more forward as I became more engrossed in the words of the songs and fell in love with the music.
Since 1978 I have seen Fogelberg live 10 or 11 times. I've seen concerts in huge enclosed arenas like the former Market Square Arena, Indianapolis; huge open-air arena theatres like Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville IN; small indoor venues like Grand Victoria Casino, Rising Sun IN; and small outdoor venues like Indiana State Fair Grandstand as part of the former Indianapolis Summer Music Series, most recently at Echo Basin Ranch, Mancos CO my favorite venue so far.
Last summer I desperately wanted to take a road trip/vacation, something my hubby and I had not done in years, and after 3+ years of graduate school and a very trying 2002 - family deaths - I needed to get away. So I gave him two choices we could go hear Fogelberg on tour in New Orleans, a city we both love and have previously visited, or we could go to Colorado, the choice fore which my fingers were crossed. Thankfully he chose Colorado, probably saw me holding my breath after I said that venue and knew it was my first choice - he's like that.
Under the banner of attending the concert, we spent four wonderful days driving from Denver to Durango (and back via a different route), riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, watching the 4th of July fireworks from the Walgreen's parking lot, and generally wandering around. Then we went to the concert, which was the most outstanding musical evening I have attended - sitting under the sky in the shadow of the mountains where most of the songs I love were written and/or recorded was amazing. Click here for a picture of the Echo Basin concert venue. During that trip hubby and I both feel in love with southwestern Colorado and now, beyond planning a trip back for later this year, we joke about buying a ranch in the mountains when we win the lottery. Next trip I want to check out Fort Lewis College maybe they might have a future slot for a visiting computer-mediated communication scholar.
Fogelberg's music has often played as the soundtrack of my life, with a 20 album discography recorded over 31 years there is a lot of music covering a variety of life phases from which to choose. For example - I have played A Voice for Peace quite a lot in the last couple of years. The song played continuously in the mix (along with Harry Chapin, Seals & Crofts, and Nancy Griffith) on Sept 11, 2001 while I talked to kids in the chatrooms who had family and friends missing in the World Trade Center. Listening to peace songs kept me centered and focused firmly on my values while the discussion of violence went on around me, and reminded me that I was not alone in the view that violence rarely solves anything.
I have three favorite Fogelberg songs. Two of which are wonderful romantic songs, that as memory serves was written for his first wife: Dancing Shoes from the 1977 release Neder Land and Wysteria from his 1972 debut album Home Free. As I was looking up links for this post I have found that both of these songs have been covered by the Indigo Girls on one of their albums, nice to see good music being continued on through time. I have also grown very fond of Don't Lose Heart, from the 1997 Portrait (Box Set), is a wonderful mature inspirational song that certainly chronicles many of our roads through the middle of our lives.
My use of Fogelberg's music as the soundtrack of my life continues into the future. I have even joked that I will have to give him an acknowledgement in my dissertation since his music plays constantly when I am doing research and writing papers. There is no doubt in my mind that the words I hear embedded in such soulful music have influenced what I have researched and how I have structured my discussion of my topics. For that I am thankful for I can think of no better mediator then Fogelberg's insightful words.
One of the fan sites, The Living Legacy, has started a page to gather "prayers, positive thoughts and support [for] Dan, his family and friends as he battles his illness." To read posts click here. To send your own wish click here for the mailto submission.
I wanted an informal picture of Fogelberg to go with this post, something not concert or promotional picture-ish, I found this picture on the Courier Journal site. It was taken during his attendance at the 2001 Kentucky Derby. I should add that his song Run for the Roses is the official song of the Kentucky Derby.
Fogelberg related information:
Design changes to the sidebar
I spent some time this morning rearranging the sidebar for the professional-lurker site. I deleted the default sidebar category "Recent Posts". I did this for a couple of reasons: 1) I have the main page set to display the last 30 days of posts, so having the most recent five posts listed in the sidebar seems repetitive, and 2) I tend to give long titles to posts so the presentation of many times wrapped post titles in the sidebar was messy and unclear.
I also reorganized the links lists so they followed a somewhat more logical path. The original design, as thought it was planned *LOL*, was more chronological with more recent category additions at the bottom of the list. With the new design the list is now roughly divided between professional and personal with a horizontal rule between the two sections.
August 18, 2004
Friday night, August 13, 2004, hubby and I went to see The Village. I loved the feel of the trailers for this movie - dark, foreboding, and heavily wooded. One trailer even had a soundscape of ice crackling in the wind as though it were frozen on trees after an ice storm. Nice feeling, especially when you are warm inside a movie theatre in August.
I have to say that aside from the interactions between Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix (the artist formerly known as Leaf), and Adrien Brody this film was unfulfilling. While William Hurt owned the screen for all of his scenes, he always does, the character was a watered down version of many other characters I've seen him play including that of Prof. John Robinson in Lost in Space (1998), I wanted more. There were good scenes between the three younger characters. Specifically the scene in the fog where Ivy (Howard) presses Lucian (Phoenix) to express his feelings for her is one that will stay with me awhile. It was shot perfectly with the tendrils of fog slowly enveloping the scene. The acting was strong and made me crawl inside the characters to feel what they were feeling. Similarly scenes between Brody and the other two were also well acted. Brody has a great screen presence that makes his characters as believable as possible within the script.
Likewise the directing was marvelous. I remember an acting class lecture from one of my undergraduate professors, a gentleman who still believed ladies should wear skirts and gloves to class, where he chided us that actors should never turn their back on an audience for a scene. "An actor can rarely use his back to communicate with an audience." I disagreed then I disagree now. When I see a scene where the actors are in profile or 1/4 face I feel like a total observer, an unknown and potentially unwelcome observer -- a lurker. Some scenes need that feeling of potential intrusion, and the scene between Ivy and Lucian on the porch at night is one of those scenes. That was a smart directing choices and I will remember it.
Now having already said that Brody's portrayal was "as believable as possible within the script' I have to talk about the script. Hubby and I were both conscious of inconsistency between the time implied by the script, in an opening scene you see a new grave stone that says 1800-1809 (as memory serves), and the look and sound of the film. I was struck that the language was wrong for the period so I wondered are they playing current language because they don't think their audience will get it. I was also struck by the finely woven fabrics used in the clothing, not homespun but linen and finished into pintucks. Fabric like this would have to have been imported into the village which would have been impossible in a place totally cut off from other people. Hubby noticed that tools and implements, not to mention the livestock (where are they going to get more sheep?) for the same reasons they were inconsistent with a local that is cut off from the rest of the world.
There are many more problems I could point out here but I have no desire to totally dissect the film online. I just want to add one final comment on the "twist." The Village is a social-psychology experiment that would be impossible without outside involvement. Someone living outside, and more likely several someone's, would have to know they were there to keep the borders safe. Trusts run out of money, outside parties happen onto things, and disasters happen. Someone would have to watch their backs. Sorry folks but money doesn't tie up people's tongues or cover their eyes indefinitely.
So while I can't recommend the film for a paying audience, I would say it would be worth watching when it hits the tube.
August 17, 2004
Little Black Book
Well I packed myself off to see Little Black Book. When I looked through the listing of movies available locally it seemed like the potentially most enjoyable one I had not already seen. I was right about that. The plot revolves around the techno-social phenomena of Palm Pilots, PDAs in general, and how much information is available inside one of those little silver boxes. *eyes her own Palm Pilot suspiciously and is glad it is not internet ready* What happens when prying eyes, in this case a curious girlfriend, gains access to the treasure trove? The ending is a believable twist, that truthfully makes the movie. Most of the reviews I've read on the film try to judge it against some classic great film barometer, it's just a good fun film. And isn't that enough?
Writers block or brain drain or something
Today is just not jelling. I'm working on the paper from my Digital Generations presentation for submission to their edited volume. This should be easy to write this paper as I've done five related presentations on the topic since April. I know the material. I know my perspective on the data. I know what I want to say. But for some reason I can't get the words to flow. It's like I'm trying to write with a quill and no ink, I'm just scratching at the keyboard.
The really silly part is that I'm brain locked over the introduction. I never write introductions first, normally I write everything else and then pull the introduction together last. For some reason this paper seems to be demanding that I write the introduction first. I've tried doing the easy stuff, the methodology and data description, but those sections are just not coming together either so it's back to the introduction.
It probably doesn't help that I can hear the submission clock ticking. I need to get this paper done and to my proofreader very shortly because, 1) it is due Sept 15, 2) I want enough time to make editing changes after it is proofread and before submission, and 3) I need to get waist deep in quals like yesterday and this piece is the last thing on the desk before that happens.
In actuality two submission clocks are ticking, one for this paper and one for quals. I just want to jump in the car and point it in a direction to get away from both of them. And that is from a women that has spent in excess of six weeks away from home since the beginning of April. Clearly it's not a vacation I need as much as getting this debris cleared out of my head so the jam can be broken. What do you do when you gotta do something and it's just not coming together?
Well I'm sitting here staring at this w.bloggar screen because even in the blog the words are not coming. I started this entry because I was hoping that at least the act of typing for the silent audience might help get things flowing...no such luck for this girl today. Think I will pack myself up and head for the movies. Maybe a couple of hours being sucked into an interesting story, crossing my fingers that I can find an interesting story, will help me focus.
Thoughts on the passing of J. Irwin Miller
J. Irwin Miller, known locally as "J. I.", passed away on Monday August 16, 2004 at his home in Columbus Indiana. He was 95. While I did not know him well, having only been introduced to the man a couple of times when I was a teenager, my world was none the less framed by his actions and thoughts. Miller was always the power behind what went on in Columbus, as the cities wealthiest and most influential citizen what he wanted happened. Thankfully what he wanted to happen, though sometimes painful for the short-term, was usually very good for the city.
Miller guided Cummins Engine Company's growth from small town business to multinational powerhouse. In the 1960's Miller made a series of good business decisions that were also good public policy. He advised his managers that they would hire nonwhites for positions at the company. This was not tokenism, rather he looked for and nurtured bright capable individuals irregardless of race, nationality, sex, etc. When the people his company was hiring could not find living quarters in this predominantly white blue-collar town he entered into agreements with local developers so that they would build apartments with the promise that the company would underwrite a number of rental units for their employees without consideration to the characteristics of those employees. This was before many of the equal opportunity and access laws were in place and his actions, though highly controversial at the time, opened up the community to people of difference. A very good change in my opinion.
- Mr. Miller's personal philosophy about the equality of all individuals is best characterized in this oft-quoted remark he made in 1983.
'In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.' Taken from Business Wire
Miller's initiated the Cummins Engine Foundation program that allowed Columbus organizations to build world class architectural structures. If an internationally known architect is to design the building then the Foundation will pay for the architect's fees. This decision has lead to the construction of many award winning structures in and around Bartholomew County and increased tourism well beyond what one would expect in a small rural city. Architectural design leaders rank Columbus Indiana (pop. 39,059) along with New York, Washington, and Los Angeles as United States showcases of modern architecture. For more information on Columbus architecture click here.
Word on the street locally has always been that National Democratic Party officials tried to get Miller to run for President in the 1960's and 1970's. I wonder what the world would be like if this visionary had held it's most powerful office. Would be nice to think that it might be a much better place having had a man who believed in human dignity and art pulling the strings.
Lists updated August 19, 2004
Online resources about or by J. Irwin Miller
Obituaries and elegies:
Great leisure reading, books by Wil Wheaton
In the last couple of days I've been doing some reading for fun, but with an academic bent of course. To explain, several months ago I discovered WIL WHEATON DOT NET: 50,000 monkeys at 50,000 typewriters can't be wrong while checking links for our most recent BROG research project. Now I will not debate that I am slow in finding this particular site as Wheaton has been blogging, under a couple of different site names, since 2000 making him a fairly early adopter of the technology. I have enjoyed reading his entries about life, working in LA, and his family.
For those of you that may not be either a movie or a sci-fi fan, Wil Wheaton is an actor, as well as a writer. He stared in the film Stand By Me (1986) and the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1990) both of which made him a cultural icon for his generation.
In his book Just a Geek, Wheaton tells funny and insightful stories about his struggles as a currently "former TV and child star" looking for work in the industry, being a step-parent, and developing his technical skills as a blogger. I laughed so loud in places hubby came in to the room and requested I read whatever was that funny so he could enjoy it as well. This book is a great read for anyone who has a technical side or has ever been associated with "the business." Personally I can see I will be quoting Wheaton and his reflexive view of blogging in my papers.
His second book Dancing Barefoot arrived in today's mail so I have not done more then bend the covers to peruse the five stories included in this slim volume. More on this book as I work my way through it.
Wheaton, Wil (2004). Dancing Barefoot. Sebastopol CA: O'Reilly.
Wheaton, Wil (2004). Just a Geek. Sebastopol CA: O'Reilly.
August 14, 2004
Indiana Brown Bat's in the House
Invasion of the bat kind. Hubby found an Indiana Brown Bat sleeping in the outside entry to our basement. The door is standing open waiting for it to awaken and fly out. Oh please please fly out. As a kid who grew up in a house whose attic was infested with the critters I have a love hate relationship with this species. I love them outside and have little affect for them inside. *sigh* So fly little bat fly outside.
August 13, 2004
I spent some time this afternoon having a new professional portrait taken. I worked with Kimberli Myers of The Studio to get a couple of professional but not to stuffy shots. I think my goal was achieved quite nicely and I am very happy with the photographs even before they are digitally touched-up. Once I have the pictures on CD I will be posting at least one of them on the blog. I'll let you know when I have them in hand.
Kathryn La Barre...Candidate
Word has filtered out that Kathryn La Barre has officially passed her quals and candidacy paperwork has been forwarded to the Indiana University, Graduate School. Way to go Kathryn.
Friends on their way to Ireland in September
Geek-guides.com announced that John Paolillo and Elijah Wright's paper has been accepted for the "1st 'Workshop on Friend of a Friend, Social Networking and the Semantic Web', to be held next month at the National University of Ireland, Galway." I think travel is in the air.
Vanity pressings and online research
Yesterday I received a copy of a book I had ordered through Amazon. (Tracy, Donna. (2001). Chatroom Voyeur. Bloomington IN: 1st Books Library.) I had ordered the book based on the topic and the comments I found in the Amazon entry. Any book about chatrooms catches my eye, as does any book that purports to be a "must read" for parents of teens who go online. Imagine my surprise when this book arrives and I find it was published by a vanity press.
Now in retrospect there were clues that I missed, too trusting I guess. 1) the publishing house has changed it's name from 1st Books Library, as listed in the book, to Authorhouse, as listed on Amazon. The new name should have been a clue. 2) there are two reviewers listed on Amazon, the first has no other reviews listed on the site and the second is anonymous. Probably the author and/or her friends.
The book itself is mostly a compendium of chatroom conversations the author has culled from a variety of "Adult" spaces. She divides the book into two main sections "The Men" and "The Women." The sections mirror each other through three sexual preference/life style subsections - Bi, Gay, Look'n; Str8 Submissives; and Str8 Dominators. Interestingly she lumps "The Couples" and "The Teenagers" under "The Women" section. There is no explanation for this arrangement.
Oh well it was not a wasted purchase and I shall surely use sections of the book in teaching because it contains a significant variety of teen chatroom dialogues that can be instructive particularly as the world of chat contracts and declines.
August 12, 2004
Usually this time of year I am trying to figure out the boundaries of modesty for a women my age when the weather is very hot and very sticky. In August we usually have a week or so of temperatures in the high 90's with close to 100% humidity. That I know how to deal with. But what does one do with this weather?
(Clipped from MSN Weather)
Yes that says tomorrow is a high of 70 and a low of 49...49 is October temperatures. This is unreal. And I'm cold.
August 11, 2004
"I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral"
Hubby and I have had quite a set of encounters with things vegetable and animal of late figured it was time to post the stories. Still waiting for the mineral entry, but the chorus of The Modern Major-General has been playing in my head since hubby told me the tale of his latest encounter so I had to use a line from the song as the title.
Seems that he was standing in the parking lot at the plant talking to a co-worker when he noticed something bright green moving across the gravel. He decided to sneak over to see what it was and found a parakeet picking through the limestone and pulling on blades of grass. He snared the wayward bird, film at 11, and tucked it up in a ream-size paper box for the trip to the pet store. With the help of the clerk he bought a cage, seed, and cuttle bone to make the little fellow a new home, as seen in the photo. At the moment he and his cage are suspended from the arm of one of my grandmothers old floor lamps, which is currently standing on the back porch. We thought we might introduce the cats to the bird slowly. This serves two purposes, 1) skin preservation for me since I would undoubtedly get caught in the middle of any negative encounter between the two, and 2) limiting confusion for all since the "BIRD FOUND" signs go up tomorrow around the plant.
While hubby was chasing the bird, I was encountering modern vegetable farming in action. As I was heading toward the highway for Indianapolis turning off a major country road, I encountered a semi-tailor loaded down with tomatoes. At first I thought they were netted but I soon realized that the fruit was simply piled high upon itself in this open bed. So I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots, the best one is on the right. Not everyday you get to experience the sheer enormity of a semi-load of tomatoes on the road in front of your car. I'm sure the produce was headed for Red Gold to become ketchup or some other wonderful tomato product. Red Gold is the best around check them out if you are in their market area.
Last week I was working at home and decided to grab a glass of water so I headed for the kitchen. Prior to leaving the study I had heard a series of low metallic clanks and assumed it was the cats doing cat-like things, especially since no one seemed upset about the noise or the goings-on. While I was in the kitchen I continued to hear the clanks are somewhat regular intervals. Since the rain had stopped I decided to step outside the back door and retrieve the house plant I had set out to be watered by the storm. When I turned around, imagine my shock to see a house wren sitting on the back of the chair on my enclosed porch. He looked at me bobbed his tail and hopped into the "Happy Harvest" bucket that hangs from peg on the north windows. The clinking sound returned immediately. Seems he was checking out the space for future occupancy. Needless to say I gentle evicted him from the premises. We assume he made his way in under the back door, which is not exactly square or weather tight. Oh well that's what you get in a century-old farmhouse.
Later that same day hubby and I were sitting on the sofa in the living room, me clicking through TV stations as quickly as they will change while hubby read. When out of the blue, the tones of something like an A-cord rolled across the room. Both of us jumped and then we both started laughing. Seems hubby had placed his travl'in banjo in a wing-backed chair next to the fireplace. Apparently one of the cats decided to perch herself along the back of said chair, and in the process of making the jump caught the strings of the banjo with her rear claws. Thankfully neither cat, banjo, or chair are worse for the wear. And we had a very healthy belly laugh.
August 09, 2004
Today would have been my maternal grandmother's 100th birthday had she not left us in April 2002. Emma Matilda Frederika Lowe Scheidt made it, and not without a serious amount of willpower involved, to within three years of her father's longevity. She always said she didn't want to live to be 100 and to have had to bury all her friends like her father had done. She got her wish, I think she planned it that way.
Happy birthday Momma we love you and miss you.
Oh and in the picture, I'm the cutie on the right. At the ripe old age of maybe 3.5 years I was all red hair, legs, and eyes - hard to tell under those pale blue cat's eye glasses. Of course the proud smiling grandmother, who was within 2 years after this photo both mother and father to the three kids in the chair, is Emma. She would enjoy that now there are so many grandparent's raising grandchildren in the U.S. today that the census folks had to add a category for them to the count. You always were a trend setter momma.
The wheels of publishing moves fairly swiftly. Books are proposed, written, and then published - yes I know it's more complicated than that - at a fairly fast clip. And then libraries place them on their wish lists and wait to see if funding will allow the new books to be purchased. Even at a huge well funded university library like that with which we are blessed at Indiana University, of which their fact sheet says they house 6,647,355 bound volumes, we wait to see if newly published books will make the cut.
I borrow books from the library when I can. I'm on a first name basis with the interlibrary loan folks, as I always have books in my hands that have been sent from other universities. But more often then not in a fast paced field like Internet Research it is impossible to wait for the volume to appear in the library one to two years after publication...I NEED IT NOW. So I frequent Amazon and all their associated used book resellers, I look for book chapters online and I cross my fingers that I will find what I need, if not before then at least when I need it.
Tonight I entered the newest stack of books into Reference Manager, nine new bound volume I bought - one having traveled back from Britian in my carry-on - and two library loaned edited volumes - neither new. Reference Manager says I now own 223 books out of the 3396 entries I have in my main database, don't be too impressed by the large number of entries most are chapters in edited volumes. Looking at my wall of book shelves that means I have roughly 50 books per shelf, not counting the stack of edited volumes, yet to be entered into Reference Manager, that live on one end of a shelf awaiting the time or need to enter each chapter separately into the program. I'm either going to have to cull some books and sell them or give them to the library because I will run out of space here someday soon. Maybe when I actually have a faculty office I will be ok because I can fill up both spaces.
Either way I am so glad that Amazon discontinued their "Want to make $[xxx]" feature. You know the one where they tell you, in large colored letters, how much money you have spent through their system in the last year, and how you could get some or all of it back by selling the books you bought. That was a depressing feature.
Oh well, tomorrow I dive into the next phase of library research for my quals. No doubt before quals is all done, I will be ordering more books that I cannot find through the library system. She who dies with the most books wins?
August 08, 2004
New Category: Travel...on the road again
I've added a new category for travel entries. That way if you really want to just see pictures and avoid the more specialized academic stuff you can do so. *S* So enjoy all the pictures from my travels, I certainly enjoy taking them. You can find all entries under this category from the sidebar at Entries by Category > Travel...on the road again, or click here for the fast-track to the category page.
Amishland and Lakes Bike Ride
Saturday, well Friday-Sunday actually, was the Amishland and Lakes Bike Ride through LaGrange County Indiana. Hubby and his riding partner did the 50+ mile route on Saturday.
As a less the serious bike rider, haven't been on one in years, I hit the Shipshewana Flea Market. That lasted for about an hour before serious boredom set in. I love antiques, especially furniture, but our house is filled to overflowing with pieces we have inherited. Sadly the things that would have been wonderful additions, from a style stand point, I just don't have a home for in this house.
So I wandered across the highway to Yoders Country Meat and Cheese Market just to see what they had to offer. Were hubby and I local I'm fairly sure I would do much of my shopping at Yoders. The display cases were full of chicken, beef, and pork cuts all marked "Growth Hormone Free." And while this is not totally organic it goes along way toward resolving many of my problems with the current US food supply. They had so many of the old time candies and snacks I like that I knew I would have to stop back by to load up before the trip home. My two favorite confections are Zagnuts (these being the bulk variety of bite-size bars rather then the full-size candy bars) and Coconut Toasties (marshmallows rolled in toasted coconut). I also bought several bottles of pickled vegetable - mushrooms, beets, baby corn, sweet onions, and sweet garlic.
I then wandered next door to the Parkers Carhartt Outlet and promptly found my new casual winter coat. I bought a green barn coat with sherpa lining that had just arrived at the store. It is nearly perfect for what I wanted, I simply hate dull coats in the winter by January I don't care if I ever see brown again it's just too depressing. Only thing that could have made this coat more perfect would have been for it to be kelly green, like the worn out coat it is replacing, or a clear red. No depressed people around when bright colors are present.
I was to meet hubby and his riding partner back at the starting/ending point at 2:00 pm so I started to meander that way when I decided to ditch the tourist trap part of LaGrange County for the off-highway view of real people and their worlds. Some years ago I had gone auto-orienteering somewhat west of Shipshewana and knew from previous experience that the area is laid out roughly on the grid. It's very hard to get too lost on the grid, especially with all the state and federal highways that pass through Indiana, so auto-orienteering is usually without much chance of disaster. Though you can end up in some places you may wish you had not found, as I have done in Southern Indiana when employing this technique. But for Saturday my expedition was a good one and one I am very glad I undertook.
I wandered my way into Emma, Indiana and found myself at Creekside Country Store. Creekside is a wonderful little country store that advertising itself as "shopping for the whole family." The owners clearly cater to the local Amish community by carrying a variety of fabrics and made clothing that adhere to Amish religious tenets on dress. I was interested in the variety of shoes that were available, all in black of course, for the women and girls to wear - slip-ons, ties, Chinese style, high-topped boots, etc. The children's section held a limited selection of games including Rook and Candyland right next to simple books with Dick and Jane Readers abounding. I also found that the stiff cap-like head coverings worn by Amish and many Mennonite women are called "Chopa" or "Copa" I didn't get to copy it down from the sign in the store hence my faulty memory. I also cannot establish which spelling is correct by searches of the net which I guess is probably to be expected.
Another treat for me was seeing all the buggies and horses moving on the roads. I am particularly find of huge Draft horses with Belgians and Percheron being my favorites. These are solid working horses, not those thin-boned riding and jumping horses you usually see. I got to see many pairs pulling buggies and buckboards loaded with people moving from one Saturday duty to another.
I have long known that I could be quite happy living among the Amish. We hold many of the same basic values - simplicity, independence, family, and community. Though I doubt I would be their favorite neighbor with my satellite internet hookup, tendency toward self-aggrandizement (it's an academic thing), and showy colors. Oh well, all I truly know is that when I am in Amish country I can feel life slow down. I like that.
August 06, 2004
The Hotel Bathroom
While I was in Bethesda, earlier in the month, I watched a Discovery Channel program on the History of the Bathroom. Yes yes now you know I tend toward cable networks we don't get at home when I'm on travel. While much of information presented I had run across previously such as the development of "toilets" from open pits to the modern flushable one we so love, some of it was new to me.
One piece of that new information was brought home in London. You see if you look at side of a modern American toilet you will see the outline of a curvy pipe that creates the trap. The trap inside the toilet keeps smells from the waste removal process on one side and our nice bathrooms on the other. Well if you look at the side of a British toilet you don't see a trap, and the bowls are much deeper since that space is freed for deposit rather then removal. Hence every bathroom I was in, no matter how nice, had a slight odor.
The Original Tour of London
On Thursday July 29, 2004 I skipped Education Day at the conference. I'm sure it was a great session but was not really focused on my type of research nor I on theirs. Instead I spent most of the day riding around on The Original London Signtseeing Tour. These are open top doubledecker busses with guides that narrate the route for you, you can get off and on at any stop along one of the several routes they ply. I learned a couple of things from the experience, 1) London is so old and so saturated with history and experience that almost every structure has a story behind it, and 2) information overload gives you a headache. So here are some of the pictures I took from the top of the bus, these are cropped where appropriate to focus in on the main element of the shot. Likewise these are in no particular order as the bus route doubles back on itself in several places the line of progression is lost.
|This picture is interesting on a couple of levels. I snapped it first because I loved the idea that someone was finally admitting that Texas would want an embassy to the UK. In fact it is actually a tex/mex restaurant. Then the guide told us that this building was the headquarters for the former Whitestar Line. As a childhood Titanic buff that information hit home for me.|
|The mile square City of London is demarcated by statuses at each major gate. This griffin was part of a pair that guarded the entrance along the Thames. Now he is hiding in the trees but I bet at one point he stood in the open.|
|I snapped this picture of Tower Bridge from the roof of the bus as we passed over another of the bridges of London. The children, in the picture, seemed to be more interested in the ships and boats.|
|The remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras stands surrounded by highrise glass and steel structures. Actual artifacts from the structure are stored in a museum elsewhere. Oh gezzz and now I find that the remains were moved from their original site to this one, more tourists here I guess. A piece of information the guide did not share with us.|
|For a theatre lover The Savoy is a kind of mecca.|
|The Tower of London, which is more of a fortress then a modern day tower. Think I'll skip the walking tour to many bad vibs from this place.|
|During the final leg of my day on busses I grabbed the front seat on the upper level of the green line heading back to the British Museum, the local point of departure. I snapped this shot as we pulled into a stop light. Gives a nice elevated view of the street and the other vehicles.|
August 05, 2004
A Second Dinner at Denise's
Amanda Lenhart and I broke out of the conference on Wednesday night and decided to have some dinner. I suggested we hit Denise's again, what can I say it was great food and close by. We had a lovely evening sitting and talking. As we were eating a group of roller blades sped by. I grabbed my camera, and snapped the first shot before I remembered to turn the flash off. The next two are much better and may be some of the best shots me and my Canon digital have captured so far.
Academics on Water - The Thames River Boat Cruise
One evening of the conference the Centre sponsored a Thames River Boat Cruise for £10 a very good price considering it also included dinner. So I think roughly 150 of us piled into busses to travel from the Centre to the river and then onto the boat for our 2+ hour cruise to Greenwich and back. Sunset on the river was beautiful. This tour was unnarrated so I often have no idea what I was looking at exactly. So I took pictures that caught my eye, form and figure and light. I make no apologizes for my taste or lack there of.
I should note that I have chosen to keep these in basically chronological order to keep with the sense of seeing the city unfold and how the eye is drawn to a variety of things via the water trip. In addition of this many pictures swamps your dial-up and the pics come through broken, remember that all are linked and you can still see them by clicking on the broken picture.
|This picture was taken under Tower Bridge. I found the support work to be beautiful. Actually as I look at it now I'm not sure that is Tower Bridge, oh well I still like the picture. Plus it's a great shot of academics doing what they do best...talking. LOL|
|A distance shot of the London Eye.|
|A picture of the skyline opposite the London Eye.|
|Another skyline picture.|
|Big Ben and Parliament series, picture 1.||A closer picture of the London Eye and the buildings around it.|
|Big Ben and Parliament series, picture 2. It's a bit cock-eyed but hey I was on a boat at the time.|
|Another skyline picture.|
|I think this is my favorite of the waterborne pictures. I love the red piers, so suprising. Wouldn't they be even more cool with ferns growing out of the top and trailing down the sides?|
|The London Bridge Hospital, another of those wonderful locations that labels itself for first-time tourists like me.|
|There is a story behind this ship. I heard someone talking about it on the cruise, but at the moment I have no idea what the story is. *sigh* Sorry folks. But beyond the ship you can see Tower Bridge coming up.|
|Another skyline picture. That pointed building in the background is Lloyd's of London. I think it looks like a Faberge egg in greys and black. Very classy.|
|Two pictures of Tower Bridge from underneath. I really don't like the second one that much but it was the best I could get. Besides you have to have a shot of the "Tower" of Tower Bridge.|
|I did a double take when I saw a paddlewheeler names "Dixie Queen." Me thinks someone somewhere has a great sense of humor. A southern paddlewheeler on the Thames!|
|I was told that this structure was put up for the Millennium Celebration. Apparently it was not a popular choice of designs and now it sits empty awaiting a new buyer. Anyone interested in buying a terrestrial sea urchin that clearly would suck up utility moneys?|
|Evening begins to fall as we turn back into the city.|
|The dome is the Greenwish observatory. I missed taking this picture on the way out. Probably just as well since the lighted doom shows up so much better in twilight. I can now say I've floated through time zero. Only the International Dateline yet to do. *S*|
Digital Generations Conference
I made the trip to London not just for sightseeing, though it would be hard to know that from the volume of pictures I took, but rather to present at the Digital Generations: Children, Young People, and New Media Conference sponsored by Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media, Institute of Education, University of London.
This was an outstanding conference. It is a rare and wonderful feeling to be among a group of scholars who have some level of understanding in all parts of your work. Usually I am among internet researchers who don't know adolescents or adolescence researchers who don't know the internet. It was a treat to feel so at home. They are considering making this a biennial conference. If that comes through I know I will be back.
I have my PowerPoint presentation Adolescent Diary Blogs and the Unseen Audience online as am MHT file. Click here for download.
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 7 FOOD!
I walked about half of the proscribed walk before the weather began to turn and my knees were giving out. I headed south on Southampton Row heading for Great Russell and the hotel. On the way I happened on to a cafe' called Denise's. I stopped to check out the menu and their Sea Bass called to me.
The food was excellent. Grilled whole Sea Bass, green salad, vegis, chocolate mousse for desert with a glass of Muscat. Great way to end a lovely afternoon.
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 6 Queens Square
Ok I have to admit that by the point I hit Queens Square I was tired and very hungry. So what was one more chunk of greensward? *sigh* In retrospect that was not the best evaluation. But I do have one picture of the area. This building stands on the opposite diagonal from the Church of St. George the Martyr. The guidebook says most of the buildings around the square are hospitals. It has that insitutional feel about it which may be why I took so few pictures.
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 5 Hotel Russell
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 4 University of London
|Next to Russell Square Garden stands the University of London. You walk through a large set of cast iron gates to enter the main campus from this side. Once inside it would be impossible to miss Senate House. Which to this Yankee looks a lot like the Empire State Building. The structure is to large to be framed into one shot. Check the text links for good aerial pictures that give you a flavor of how large this building is.|
|This door is right inside the gates to the University. I loved the detailed knocker.|
|This picture was snapped across the Square from the main University gates looking back at the University buildings that are outside the gates and along Montague Street.|
|This is a picture of 24 Russell Square. T. S. Elliot worked here as a book publisher for Faber and Faber. The building is now used by the university. I'm sure it was more attractive before all the windows were bricked in. As it stands it has an air of industrial dilapidation.|
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 3 Russell Square Garden
|Russell Square is a very large garden park. Assuming the walking tour map is roughly accurate, not necessarily a fact, then Russell Square is 2/3rds or so the size of the entire British Museum. Frommer's says the Square was built in the 1800's. It's name is derived from the Russell family whose head the Earl of Bedford is one of the largest landowners in London, there is a statue of the fifth Earl of Bedford placed in Russell Square Garden.|
|Clearly people enjoy Russell Square as there were adults on all of the benches, and laying in pairs and groups talking on the ground. Children were running playing with a ball in an improvised game that looked like both soccer and rugby. A group of middle eastern adolescents were practicing field hockey stick work.|
|Russell Square is the only "garden" I visited that actually had flowers. All of the others had planting of foliage plants but none were in bloom when I was there. It is a beautiful space, a quiet greensward in the hectic city.|
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...The Walk Between Bloomsbury and Russell Squares
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 2 Bloomsbury Square (with a walking history)
The man at the hotel desk pointed me to Tottenham Court Road for food. Apparently the section of Tottenham between Great Russell and New Oxford is one large electronic mart. I stopped in several stores and did get to see electronics items that I have never seen previously 3D, which is always fun for a techy. So I wondered around a bit and stumbled on to Bedford Square. (Pictures of Bedford Square are available in the previous post. Click here to go to the permalinked post.) Since I was still starving I decided to take Yungrae's advice and check out the cafe' at The British Museum, which she said was good inexpensive food.
The museum is a beautiful building blending architectural periods through its many additions and renovations. But dear lord what a crush of people. It's a good thing I am not really a museum person, something about lived objects in cases, the crowd alone would have driven me from the exhibits into the street. Instead I watched them from the safety of the great hall.
The gallery cafe' was about to close so I grabbed a bottle of still water and a bag of Salt & Pepper Potato Chips and had a seat to people watch while I munched. Both were very good and filled me enough to hold until Tea Time.
I write this page sitting on a park bench in Bloomsbury Square, Central London. The park is roughly a block square. My bench is on the northwest corner with my back to Bedford Place. Around me people are reading and relaxing sitting on benches and on the ground. It really is true these parks are a world apart. The city seems less noisy and crowded because of the plants and trees.
Many of the buildings around me bear plaques with the names of famous people and the years they resided within. Behind me is the former home of Benjamin Disraeli's father, Issac D'Israeli (1766-1848). Down the block is house that holds Gertrude Stein's former flat.
August 04, 2004
A Walking Tour of Bloomsbury, London, UK...Stop 1 Bedford Square
When I finally awoke on Sunday afternoon from a combination of jet lag and lack of CPAP (more on that later) I decided to follow the local walking tour outlined in Frommer's (2003). Memorable Walks in London. New York: Wiley.
First I just went wandering and ended up in Bedford Square, the end of the walking tour on the map, at right, not the beginning as one would assume, I've always been a swimming upstream kinda girl. The Bloomsbury walking tour technically starts and ends at Holborn Underground Station and lists 26 points of interest. I only made it through about half of the formal walk before I tired out and headed back to the hotel.
Note of warning on all the London pics...I took so many pictures that I have no doubt I have some of them mislabeled so enjoy them for their esthetic value and keep the history, etc. you read here separate.
Arriving in London
I arrived at Heathrow late on Saturday July 24. It was a long and fairly uneventful crossing. Most interesting thing I can say about the trip was that I enjoyed the visualization map that American Airlines posts along with travel data (time at destination, time at departure point, time at current location, miles to destination, air speed, etc.). The visualization map had a silver plane that moved along a flight path and is constantly updated to show where we were verses where we had been and were you are going. I liked that. Now I know I actually have flown over Greenland rather then just thinking I had been in the local.
Upon arrival at Heathrow and passing through customs, a process that required a bit more standing then I needed, my luggage cart was grabbed by a Pakistani gentleman who wanted me to hire his minicab. Well I needed a cab so I said sure. Now before this story really begins let me say that nothing untoward happened.
The minicab was a kind of boxy minibus with two bucket seats in the front and a bench seat in the back. Luggage went into the boot; it was a five door car. Being a fairly tall person, just shy of 6'1'' actually, I filled up most of the available headspace when sitting on the bench seat. The driver resolved this problem by opening the sunroof so that part of the top of my head peeked through, allowing me more head space and imbibing me with the feeling that this was definitely going to be an interesting trip.
We pulled out of Heathrow and promptly got stuck in traffic. It was about that point that I realized my "cab" had no meter so my estimate of the cost of the trip increased as did my awareness of my own safety. It's times like this that it's good I travel with a walking cane, which I stood on end between my legs, hands grasping the cane shaft and rested my head on the pummel. I had my weapon and I knew how to use it.
My minicab driver clearly had no tolerance for traffic jams, an interesting state of being in London, because he fairly quickly found a microscopic hole in which to wedge the entire cab. From that point on it was easy for him to maneuver the minicab to the lane he wanted. So up and out of Heathrow we went traveling alone on our own personal route the bike lane. As we were headed up the bike ramp and onto a crossing bike lane I began to laugh, confusing my driver completely. What can I say I have a finely tuned sense of the absurd, and this was absurdity at it's best.
So from the point we bounced onto the crossing bike lane until we stopped at the Thistle Russell Square, I felt like I was in a chase scene from The Italian Job. We cut across multiple lanes of traffic, went up highway access ramps the wrong way, cut u-turns in front of traffic, and at one point cut across a grassy median. Somewhere in the middle of all of this I realized that the trip was worth whatever it cost for storytelling power and amusement. I laughed a lot.
At the Thistle I unloaded my luggage and carried them up the steps and into the hotel only to be told that they were putting me out. They said there was a computer glitch and that my reservation had not be received, interesting since they had my name and travel information in front of them when we started our conversation.
I was tired and though I felt like requesting my pound of flesh - would the exchange rate work on that pound as well? - I looked at the night clerk who probably had little to do with the situation, so I ask how they were resolving the issue. Luckily for me that had found me a room at the Jury's Doyle a block or so over, on Great Russell. So into another cab, this one a standard London black cab that the Thistle paid for, and I was off to the Jury's. Needless to say I slept well my first night in London.
August 03, 2004
BROG Paper Acceptance Received for HICSS 2005
Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up"
Susan C. Herring, Inna Kouper, John C. Paolillo, Lois Ann Scheidt, Michael Tyworth, Peter Welsch, Elijah Wright, & Ning Yu
The "blogosphere" has been claimed to be a densely interconnected conversation, with bloggers reading and linking to other bloggers, debating with them in their entries, and posting comments on other's blogs. However, most such characterizations have focused on a subset of popular blogs, known as the 'A-list.' This study empirically investigates the extent to which, and in what patterns, blogs are interconnected, taking as its point of departure randomly-selected blogs. Methods of quantitative social network analysis, visualization of link patterns, and qualitative analysis of mentions and comments in pairs of reciprocally-linked blogs are employed. The results show that A-list blogs are overrepresented and central in the network, although other groupings of blogs are more densely interconnected. Degree of cross-referencing and commenting varies according to blog type and author gender. Based on this evidence, we conclude that the universe of blogs as a whole is selectively interconnected and partly conversational.
August 02, 2004
Kathryn La Barre...Candidate
Kathryn La Barre completed her quals defense today. It will be a week before we know for certain she passed but she walked away with a good feeling about it. Her paper Faceted Maps of Knowledge and Domains: Peeling the Onion of an Idea(1), An Examination of the Use of Facet Analysis in Website Design is available online.
After a survey of the contours of IS, this paper provides a brief overview and comparison of the information retrieval (IR) and knowledge organization (KO) landscapes. The current use of Facet Analysis (FA) and Faceted Classification (FC) for display and organization of entities is also considered. FA is then examined more fully as it is the intellectual system underpinning some KO features in website design today. Lastly, the methods section reviews experimental design issues for testing web designs that utilize facet analytical theory and methods by which the use of FA applications in website design may be assessed. A study is proposed that might uncover different types of practice, provide the potential for discovery, and serve to highlight new developments that augment the traditional practice of FA/FC.
(1) In Calvin Mooers' words, Facet provides an analytical tool; that is, the idea of facet allows you to peel the onion of an idea (Brian Vickery. 1966. Faceted classification schemes. In: S. Artandi (Ed.), Rutgers Series on Systems for the Intellectual Organization of Information. v. 5. New Brunswick, NJ: Graduate School of Library Science at Rutgers University.
August 01, 2004
End of Month Advisory Committee Update
End of month time again, so here is the link to my monthly Advisory Committee Update for July 2004. Preparing the monthly report is always a good point of self-reflection. I just keep on moving forward, albeit with periods of retrograde.