Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation. . .
I learned about this from a student in my library management class today;  it makes word cloud shapes.  This star is the word cloud of my bookmarks saved on;  more than 3000 of them from many years of being a school librarian and saving bookmarks.  This program has a lot of shapes, and it is fun, as well as having potential as a literacy and writing tool. 

You can type in any URL and then choose a shape.  This is News and Views from Norway today.


I've been getting my news on the tragedy in Norway from this website, Views and News from Norway, published by a woman I knew at Northwestern.  It is interesting to read most days -- I've been their Facebook Friend for some time -- but an important front line source in difficult times.

If you want to try for an international perspective in news, this site from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and this one from the Internet Public Library are useful.  The feature on "Today's Front Pages" from the Newseum in Washington, DC is fun as well as informative.    They don't replace a good collection of newspaper databases, but they do provide perspective that's sometimes lacking in our U.S. focused news reporting.

Where do you turn when something happens?  Where do you get your news each day?

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds

I saw this posted on the Appleton Public Library website; they got it from MSNBC. It's a beautiful graphic, and it shows clearly why information overload is a challenge. Of all those things out there -- how many of them are important? Interesting? Vital? Nonsense?

I've used a lot of new tools this summer, and many of them are designed to collect and organize information, but does that really create organization, or does it just tempt us to click on everything and save it for later? Have any cultural anthropologists looked at our obsession with documenting every moment of our lives -- a hundred times? I know children less than 6 months old who have 300 pictures on Facebook. Who is going to have time to look through all this stuff? Of course, I shot well over 300 pictures during my two weeks in Ireland -- on film. It isn't the medium. . . entirely.

Fortune Cookie

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best.
Frank Zappa