HorizontalLogoFlatKO
Text Size

Librarian Blog

Looking to be offensive

I guess I should no longer be surprised by what offends people -- and what does not.
What does not: Bad grammar nearly everywhere -- public signage, newspaper headlines, magazine articles, books!
What also does not: Bad language, likewise nearly everywhere, even in presidential campaigns.
And this: Misbehaving kids all over the place, even in fine restaurants.
Of course, TV is just rife with stuff that would make my mother and father blush, and my grandmother would simply die of embarassment and shame.
But, what does offend: Things like this -- a window display in a bookstore window of banned books that includes a cover copy of Little Black Sambo.
This is so awful that protesters in Oregon have actually shut down the independent bookstore that had the silly notion that you could make public the stupidity of people who want to ban books by showing banned books and that would be OK!
I'm offended.

Something new ... to me

Every once in a while someone comes in and asks us to print out a list of everything he or she has read in the past, oh, year or so.
We can do that, althoiugh it's not a quick and simple process.
I surely do understand the desire to have such a list. We have quite a number of patrons who are reading books from our Louis L'Amour collection. That's a lot of books to keep track of to make sure you don't repeat before you've gone through the entire bunch.
Likewise with someone like James Patterson.
And upon occasion I've thought it would be neat if I had had the forethought to put keep a list of what I've read, just in case someone asked about this or that book and I couldn't -- inevitably -- recall whether I had read it or not and/or whether I would recommend it, etc.
Turns out there is such a thing -- online, of course.
It's called: Librarything.com.
Here is what the website says:

What is LibraryThing?

LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers.

LibraryThing helps you create a library-quality catalog of books: books you own, books you've read, books you'd like to read, books you've lent out ... whatever grouping you'd like.

Since everyone catalogs online, they also catalog together. You can contribute tags, ratings and reviews for a book, and Common Knowledge (facts about a book or author, like character names and awards), as well as participate in member forums or join the Early Reviewers program. Everyone gets the benefit of everyone else's work. LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share.

I will be signing up.

Enough of 'Game'

So, just go ahead and call us fuddie-duddies.
My wife and I are just not up to watching one more head chopped from a human body or one more slut in bed with a jerk.
So, after watching all of Season 1 and a couple of episodes of Season 2, we are calling it quits on "Game of Thrones."
We may actually be the last adults in America to have started this HBO series. Surely we are not the first, nor the last, to put it back on the shelf and turn the channel to Shark Tank or Flip or Flop.
I'd rather watch Mr. Wonderful use word play to eviscerate a would-be entrepreneur than see another set of vital organs spilled out on the cold, barren soil of Neverland as envisioned by Mr. George R.R. Martin.
It's just all too, too much.
Actually, I might prefer watching paint dry.

Test your product

For my monthly cooking classes, I generally try to pick a theme and then arrange a menu around the theme.
For example, tonight I'm cooking a number of Spanish dishes, mainly tapas, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15 in this country.
I thought I'd go Old School on the plates, rather than picking something, as I have in the past, from the Americas.
After tonight, I'll be thinking about October's menu, and I may have some help on it. Jane Wyatt, president of LazyTexan products, came by this morning with a sample of her seasoning mix for me to try out. We started talking, and she's going to come up with something using one or more of her food products for a German-themed menu in October -- for Oktoberfest.
This is a good opportunity for her to get the word out about her new business and line of food products; it's good for my class; and it should be good for those who attend on Oct. 3.
So, here's the deal: If  you  have a food product or idea for a product and want to test it out and get the word out, come by and let's talk about featuring what you have in progress.
Or give me a call: 512-847-2188!

Good cause to worry

Much was made over the weekend about the possibility that Russian hackers would try toi meddle in the November elections in the United States.
President Obama even had a conversation about that subject with Vlad Putin, the Russian czar.
Comments about the issue have tended to focus on what may happen based on what actually has happened in the past. The Russians have, in fact, hacked the Democratic Party and various other political venues just recently. They are not likely to change their behavior unless there is some penalty for doing so. Putin is not inclined to penalize them. So, it's safe to say they may, in fact, try to affect the elections just from that perspective.
There is another perspective, though, and that is technical.
Pricenomics, an international group that crunches data on all sorts of subjects for clients worldwide, just issued a report based on data from HackerRank, a customer.
It is disturbing.
The report is about which countries have the best technologists -- potentially the best hackers.
Here is what the report concludes:
"According to the data, China and Russia score as the most talented developers. Chinese programmers outscore all other countries in mathematics, functional programming, and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms, the most popular and most competitive arena. While the United States and India provide the majority of competitors on HackerRank, they only manage to rank 28th and 31st."
Maybe we could just hire all those experts and bring them to San Jose?
Our website is protected by DMC Firewall!