Happy Monday. I'm cleaning out some of my e-mail and thought I'd post some of the interesting links here
But first, a little Monday humour--a couple of oldies but goodies
Subject: FW: meet the parents
A girl asks her boy friend to come over Friday night and have dinner with her parents. This being a big event, the girl tells her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go and have sex for the first time.
Well, the boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. The pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex. At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he'd like to buy; a 3-pack, a 10-pack, or a family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be very busy, it being his first time and all.
That night, the boy shows up at the girls parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. 'Oh I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!'
The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head. A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down. Ten minutes pass and still no movement from the boy. Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to her boyfriend, "I had no idea you were so religious."
The boy turns, and whispers back, 'I had no idea your father was a pharmacist.'
Um...is it just me, or is there some sort of oxymoron in 'a family pack' of condoms?
And then there's this one...
A man is driving down a road. A woman is driving down the same road from the opposite direction.
As they pass each other, the woman leans out the window and yells "PIG!!".
The man immediately leans out his window and yells, "BITCH!!".
They each continue on their way, and as the man rounds a curve he crashes into a huge pig in the middle of the road and dies.
If men would only listen....
I used to love the scenes where a ball would go through all sorts of gadgets they used to do on Sesame Street. So it's no wonder I like this.
There's been quite a bit of buzz over a Honda ad airing in the UK. It was filmed entirely in real time--no fancy computer animation, and involves a domino-like effect of parts of a car until the car drives forward. 606 takes! My understanding is that there are no plans to air the ad in the US--the car shown is not a US model. Also, I believe there are some in the advertising field who may think we Americans don't have the attention span to enjoy (it is about 2 minutes long, far longer than your average American commercial). Well, this American loves it. The ad on the Honda site is apparently pretty slow. A mirror of it can be found at: http://home.comcast.net/~bernhard36/honda-ad.html with links to some news stories, background, etc. Enjoy.
Top UK children's book awards announced
The Carnegie award, which is analogous to the Newbery in the United States, has been won by Sharon Creech, an American who has lived in the UK for many years. She is the first person to win both, and the first American to win the British award.
This year's Kate Greenaway winner (analogous to the American Caldecott, awarded for illustrations) is Bob Graham. Incidentally, Mr Graham has apparently donated his cash prize to refugee groups. For more, see ACHUKA (Children's Books UK) and their Achockablog
By the way, I meant to post this before
A rather scathing critique of both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and modern life in general.
There's also this, which in many ways is an answer to the first review, with both coming from the New York Times.
The second author gets the magic of HP, whereas the first does not. The first one, however, does have some valid points. The books are sometimes too bogged down and are not in and of themselves that unique to the world of fantasy. I have to admit, I agree with some of his assertions, but it still rather think he'd be a Squib who tried to on the mantle of Defence of the Dark Arts teacher, if not a Muggle. But I'll let you read both and see what you think.
From the world of website design and promotion
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for June 30 has a very interesting article on the concept of 'information foraging'. His July 14th column discusses the unwieldy nature of .pdfs.
A useful database
The National Library of Medicine now has a database for consumers to search side effects and various properties of household products.
Need a Spanish tutorial for using PubMed?
The regular English-language one is at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/pubmed_tutorial/m1001.html
PubMed is an interface for searching several decades' worth of medical literature online. It is free to search and has some links to free full-text articles, although for most you'd have to either visit a library and either make copies yourself or go through interlibrary loan to receive copies. Most libraries do some sort of ILL, either for free or for a fairly low cost per article. You also might want to sign up for Loansome Doc, a document delivery service which allows you to order directly from within PubMed from a participating library.
The abstracts in PubMed are all in English, even if the original article is in another language. So sometimes you can get information from the abstracts, especially if you're not a medical researcher but a consumer checking up on a condition, for example. The abstracts allow you to decide if you want to get the whole article.
If you want just a basic overview, the folks at PubMed also have a basic brochure in .pdf format.
If you are a resident of Kentucky, you can also search this database, along with a whole slew of others, at The Kentucky Virtual Library. You can get a password from your local library. The search format isn't as easy for this interface, but you have a better chance of getting things in full text.
A few random links:
Here is an interesting FAQ on CIPA, an analysis on the defeat, and ALA's FAQ.
Also on the intellectual freedom front, Banned Books Week is coming up September 20-27th and the promotion kit is now available.
You can view a webcast of Maurice Sendak's 2003 Arbuthnot Lecture at: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/65/
Also check out Pamela van Hine's training as a 'Marathon Librarian' (and donate if you're able!).
A look at the 'July phenomenon' or 'killing season' from a resident's point of view.
There's a move to pass legislation to make publically-funded research publically available. The publisher's would have their panties in a twist over that one. But I have to admit, I agree that we should not be paying millions, if not billions in tax dollars just so someone else can make lots of money off of the research. [When viewing the article, access is free, but registration required].