The Wednesday Four (12/14/16)

Though I am no longer a librarian in my work life, I will always have a soft spot for libraries (and I visit all the time to chat with my old coworkers as well as to check out books). And in the spirit of librarianship, there are two articles one (the Time article) is an old article, but the second (EFF) is recent and reflects certain changing aspects of our society.

  • How Black Lives Matter Went Global: Activists for black, brown, and Indigenous rights around the world have adopted the Black Lives Matter slogan alongside homegrown movements against racism and police brutality. (BuzzFeed)
Blowing snow on the river

Blowing snow on the river (02/14/2-15) © ellenm1

The Wednesday Four (11/30/16)

A mixed bag today, just in time for that awkward few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enjoy the links.

  • The Rise of Pirate Libraries: Shadowy digital libraries want to hold all the world’s knowledge and give it away for free. (Atlas Obscura)

 

 

The Wednesday Four (05/06/15)

A library-related link today, among some others.

I’m a binge TV watcher, but I prefer the term marathon. I also sometimes watch too much and, over the years, have learned how to pick and choose how many episodes I can watch. Some shows, like Midsomer Murders or shows that I’ve seen before and don’t require a lot of attention, I can watch for hours and hours. Other shows, especially the Korean dramas I watch that require more attention, I don’t marathon for as long. But it’s not always true. Sometimes marathoning is too stressful (like when I have to work through a backlog of Person of Interest episodes) or sometimes I really just want to finish a kdrama (because it’s exciting or because it’s terrible and I just have to finish it). I think that what and how you binge watch is as important as the fact that you’re doing it in the first place.

Thursday Ten

When I was in high school, I was obsessed with many things. One of these things was Ebola and other, similar viruses. This was, obviously, in my young and less anxious years (I barely remember them, to be honest). I read Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone, watched Outbreak and struggled to finish The Coming Plague (I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish it). But after one too many nightmares, I gave up on all my dreams about being some sort of infectious disease doctor (I shudder to think of it now) and moved on with my life. But Ebola still remains and dominates the news (both here and abroad). And while today’s links do contain some information on Ebola, there are other things as welll. Including the protests for democracy in Hong Kong.

And on that note, here are this week’s links.

  • When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person: How do you navigate the world when it is built on identifying with one group or another and the place that feels right is neither? (Washington Post)
  • I Had a Stroke at 33: On New Year’s Eve 2007, a clot blocked one half of my brain from the other. My reality would never be the same again. (BuzzFeed)
  • Message for Beijing Hidden in a Hong Kong Street Poem: On a busy Hong Kong street on Wednesday, a poem dashed out on a bare wooden crate contained a hidden message for China. (Sinosphere // New York Times)
  • Hong Kong’s protests don’t impress mainland Chinese visitors: Chinese tourists pouring into Hong Kong this week for a shopping holiday are getting an unexpected lesson in democracy from the city’s tens of thousands of protesters demanding free elections. So far, most of them are unimpressed. (Quartz)
  • 16 Dramatic Videos Show What It’s Like to Be in Hong Kong Right Now: Thousands of protesters braved clouds of tear gas and police batons charges to stand firm in center of Hong Kong in one of the biggest political challenges for China since the Tiananmen Square protests 25 years ago. (Mic)
  • Pro-Democracy Protesters Occupy Hong Kong’s Central District: In Photos (The Atlantic) Note: This was also posted on FB. You can also follow live coverage of the protests on the South China Morning Post’s Occupy Central blog.
  • The Supreme Court That Made It Easier to Buy Elections Just Made It Harder for People to Vote in Them: In case there was any remaining confusion with regard to the precise political intentions of the US Supreme Court’s activist majority, things were clarified Monday. The same majority that has made it easier for corporations to buy elections (with the Citizens United v. FEC decision) and for billionaires to become the dominant players in elections across the country (with the McCutcheon v. FEC decision) decided to make it harder for people in Ohio to vote. (The Nation)
  • Don’t panic over Ebola in America: The first thing to do is to calm down.  Ebola is terrifying. But it’s not likely to kill you, or to spread widely in the United States. What’s scary — and hyped — about Ebola isn’t what makes it dangerous. (Vox) Note: Actor Idris Elba wrote an impassioned plea to help stop the spread of Ebola. Read it: Stopping Ebola in Its Tracks (Huffington Post)
  • Incredible Close-Up Drone Video of an Erupting Volcano in Iceland: This epic video isn’t a CGI outtake from Lord of the Rings. It’s proof that a guy with a quadcopter managed to get very, very close to an erupting Icelandic volcano—close enough to melt the face of the GoPro camera that shot the video. (Wired)
  • The Hidden Costs of E-books at University Libraries: For the past few years, both the California State University and the University of California libraries have been experimenting with packages that replace paper books with e-books. The advantages are obvious. With e-books, you no longer have to schlep to a library to take out a book. You just log on from whatever device connects you to the web, at whatever time and in whatever state of dress, and voila! the book appears on your screen (Times of San Diego)

Bonus:

  • How to Plant a Library: Somewhere outside of Oslo, there are 1,000 newly planted spruce trees. One hundred years from now, if everything goes to plan, they’ll be published together as 100 pieces of art. (Pacific Standard)

Thursday Links

A collection of interesting links I’ve read throughout the week (or, really, since the last time I made a links post).

  • The Ghost Files: US historians have long complained about gaps in the National Archives. Can big-data analysis show what kinds of information the government is keeping classified? (Columbia)
  • China Gives Hong Kong Its Worst: If China wants Hong Kong residents to stop taking to the streets in protest, it should start picking better leaders. Of course, that’s exactly why an estimated 300,000 demonstrated yesterday and almost 800,000 voted in a recent unofficial referendum: to gain the right to choose the city’s chief executive officer. (Bloomberg View)
  • Hobby Lobby Is Only the Beginning: A country that cannot even agree on the idea of religious accommodation, let alone on what terms, is unlikely to agree on what to do next. A country in which many states cannot manage to pass basic anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation is one whose culture wars may be beyond the point of compromise. And a nation whose marketplace itself is viewed, for better or worse, as a place to fight both those battles rather than to escape from them is still less likely to find surcease from struggle. (New York Times)
  • The Urgent Need to Shield Journalism in the Age of Surveillance: The media landscape has been transformed by NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s decision to leak a vast cache of documents to select journalists, notably at the Guardian and the Washington Post, which made global headlines a year ago this month. And “the new challenge this year is how to maintain the Internet as somewhere for free expression and innovation,” as Michael Maness, VP of journalism and innovation at the Knight Foundation, said. (PBS)

Back after a long absence.

Mao-The-Real-StoryI know, it’s been a while, but I’m back. I’ve scheduled a few posts that I’d written, but not posted, so keep an eye out for those over the next week or so. I do want to try to keep posting here regularly, so here’s my attempt at trying this again. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up.

Currently reading: Mao: The Real Story by Alexander Pantsov and Steven I. Levine

I’m not very far into it, maybe 30 pages or so, but it’s pretty good. I photoed copied the pronunciation guide from the beginning of the book because I kept flipping back as I was reading. This’ll save both time and the book itself (I also, of course, made a copy for H, who is reading the book as well).

Music I’ve been listening to: Big Bang, 乔任梁 (Kimi Qiao), Céu, 方大同 (Khalil Fong), 周定緯 (Judy Chou), 許仁杰 (Stanly Hsu) and 潘裕文 (Pan Yu Wen).

It’s mostly Mandopop, with a couple others stuck in there. I’m awfully predictable.

What I’m watching: Time Between Dog and Wolf (kdama), Nice Guy (kdrama) and rewatching Story of a Man/A Man’s Story (kdrama). I’ve also watched The Hobbit (it was okay and yes, it was just okay).

And now, some links of note:

Happy Holidays, everyone!