In a given week, we probably check out several dozen CD books.
A lot of them go to people who live here but commute to Austin, I'm guessing.
Awhile back one of our volunteers was preparing to take off for a summer of travel in his motor home, and I asked him if he listened to CD books while he drove across America.
No, he said, they were too distracting, and he did not feel comfortable getting mentally lost in a book while driving such a mammoth vehicle.
At the time, I correlated that thought to the problem presented by cell-phone use while driving. Your attention is almost completely drawn to the act of communicating on a cell phone, so you don't pay attention to where you're going.
But, I'm not so sure the correlation works out because so many people do listen to CD books and don't seem to have a problem.
Perhaps there are two (maybe more) kinds of people -- those who can drive and listen to a CD book and those who can't. I do think, though, that when it comes to using a cell phone while driving there is one kind of people -- those who cannot do both at the same time successfully.
A patron who is an avid reader of mysteries has stumbled across one of her own.
She pointed it out today as she returned a bunch of books by John Sandford books.
Turn to Page 28 in any Sanford or Baldacci, she said, doing so herself to a Sanford.
There at the top of Page 28 in the Sanford book, someone had put a check mark in black ink.
Every single mystery has that check mark.
Does the library do that?
Not that I know of.
A mystery upon a mystery.
Nielsen reports today on smartphone use.
More than two-thirds of mobile subscribers now own smartphones.
In December, Americans spent 34 hours using smartphone apps, about a third of which were on social media.
I don't know how Nielsen gets its numbers these days, but I've long doubted the accuracy of what they have to say.
This report I'm very suspicious of, because 34 hours sounds way too low.
That would be only eight hours per week, and it seems to me just from observing folks around here that they are on their darn phones every waking minute.
The first digital camera I looked at buying for my photojournalists was offered by the Associated Press at $25,000 per unit.
Needless to say, we just kept right on using film.
That was a long time ago in tech years.
Now, you can get a pretty darn good digital camera for a couple of hundred dollars, if not free. And it comes attached to your cell phone -- a bonus.
In today's American-Statesman it is reported that Samsung and other cell phone makers are planning to put even better cameras in their devices, perhaps approaching what you would pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for in a pro-style camera.
A major question, to me, is whether this will provoke pro camera makers to lower their prices, which are astronomical by comparison.
I can understand paying a lot of money for lenses. But, for the body and software?
I'm not buying that.
I have written before about the revelatory slide show that was presented at a conference on parenting that I attended in Austin years and years ago.
The slides were photos taken from MRI images of children's brains. They were taken by a child neuroscientist in Houston.
What the MRIs showed was indisputable evidence that children who are neglected lack significant brain development.
Those of in attendance were stunned at this physical proof of something we had only taken on faith. Parenting mattered. Love made a difference -- in major, major ways.
This morning I was listening to a report on NPR about Harvard researchers who have studied Romanian orphans and found through EEGs that those who were neglected were severely damaged.
Clearly, we have been shown over and over again for years piled upon years that every child must be nurtured.
The question, of course, is how we make that happen.
And I don't have a good answer.
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