October 2006

As I hope to someday work in archives and special collections, and these collections are increasingly either born-digital, electronically available, or both, the issue of Digital Rights Management has been looming larger and larger on my personal horizon for awhile now. To be perfectly honest, though, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around both the definition and the potential consequences of DRM….this isn’t an issue that, to my knowledge, has been discussed at my library school, and so a lot of my information has been sort of informally gleaned from a combination of web trawling and the sites whose RSS feeds I subscribe to, a situation I’m trying to remedy.

This is why I was so pleased when I noticed that one of the sites in my aggregator, Boing Boing, a self-described “directory of wonderful things” mentioned that a professor at USC is teaching a class on Digital Rights Management, titled Pwned: Is everyone on this campus a copyright criminal?”. Thankfully, the article also links to the draft syllabus for the class, which looks to contain a lot of interesting reading material. The teacher has obviously taken a decidedly negative stance on DRM, so I’m doubting I’ll find any attempts at a “fair and balanced” representation of information regarding DRM.

However, unlike other disseminators of “fair and balanced” information, he’s at least owning up to his biases, so he’s all right in my book.


I was going through my saved Gmail chats today, and I came across one with one of my very good friends that detailed the creation of the name of this blog. I’ve taken out her name, and done some cuts to tighten it up a little, but in length only. This only took up the span of about ten minutes, so, NO, we weren’t slacking, we were taking our “ten”.

And thankfully, I don’t listen to her, or the name of this blog would make absolutely no sense….as you’ll see if you manage to make it to the end of our inane ramblings:

me: Oh, I forgot to ask you again…ideas for a blog name.

friend: Oh, yay!

I am no good with professional ones though.

me: Maybe not completely professional, just not unprofessional.

Nothing referencing sex or alcohol or anything.

Some sort of clever play on my name, being a beginning information professional/librarian/archivist, something like that.


friend: Fine, make me think. That takes time.

me: Hey, you said you didn’t want to work.

I’m just trying to help.

friend: Here are the ones that I suggested last time you asked:

The Library Information Scientess

The Brink of Librarianship.


me: That’s nice.

I like things that end in -ista and -atrix.


friend: That is good too!

me: What are other -ista and -atrix-y endings?

friend: -grapher

me: I could be Informationatrix (in training)

friend: -oid? –opolis?

me: I’m not a whole city! Meanie.

friend: Datalyptica

me: That makes no sense, but it sounds neat.

friend: I know!

Like apocalyptica.

me: Yes.

friend: Informationutrition.

me: Ha.

friend: Portmanteau that!

me: Yeah!


friend: Informationthropomorphism

me: Yes! That’s it!


friend: Aw, come on!

me: I’m going with informationanteau.

Because it sounds like I’m french.

Or, French.

friend: Stewart.

me: NO!

I don’t want to be French Stewart!



*feet stomping*

friend:: Too bad, you are cursed now.

me: Information French Stewart?

friend:: That is pretty snazzy.

me: I think so.

I admire (but don’t usually practice) the “vigorous” brevity of language prescribed by Strunk & White’s Elements of Style. Still, I was tickled to see that Wired magazine had coerced (or otherwise convinced) dozens of my favorite writers to compose six-word stories.

The premise for this was that Hemingway had once written a story in six words (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn”) and called it his best work. No disrespect to Hemingway, but I think that my personal favorite out of this bunch, Margaret Atwood’s (“Longed for him. Got him. Shit!”) is far superior.

I’m contemplating the purchase of a digital camera…or, more accurately, I’m adding a digital camera to my Christmas wish list, as I’m currently skint.

In any case, I was very happy to find this very helpful article today, which provides both a broad sketch of photographers’ rights to take and publish photographs, as well as some links to other websites for further clarification.

Here’s hoping that knowing my rights will prevent any potential future frog-marching out of public places, having my camera taken away, or being set upon by angry librarians who only want to be photographed on a certain side.

I was browsing the nonist this morning and came across a very interesting image of a vintage poster, bearing the words: You may think she’s just your ‘gal,’ but she may be everyone’s pal: Prophylaxis Prevents Venereal Disease”.

Needless to say (well, if you know me, it’s needless to say), I was curious to find out more about the site, so I did some browsing and found that this poster is part of the Social Hygiene Posters database (c. 1910-1970), which is one of many in the University of Minnesota IMAGES repository. A lot of the really interesting ones are from two parallel poster presentations from the U.S. Public Health Service in the 1920s, and they (literally and figuratively) provide vivid historical slices of life that (I believe) just aren’t possible with purely text-based sources.

There are a lot of other very interesting posters in there…another one of my favorites is Beware of chance acquaintances. That’s right, ladies. Don’t ever let a strange man take you auto-riding or to a cafè, because he might attempt to entice you into sex relations and then you’ll get the clap or syphilis, get pregnant, and your child will die or be born blind.

In other words, it’s a vintage episode of House, M.D..

Though my blog’s tagline would seem to indicate that I completely refuse to wear comfortable shoes, my real beef is with people (yes, these are mostly women, and I’m only referring to those of you without any actual foot ailments) who insist that it’s impossible to find shoes that are both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

Ladies, I submit for your approval…

Adorable (and mostly reasonably priced) flats:
Naturalizer’s horribly pun-riddled but nonetheless adorable Flatery.
Cole Haan’s (with Nike Air cushion built into the heel) Air Bronte Ballet
Nine West’s suede Edwin flats, available in several great fall colors.
And, if you’re feeling adventurous, your work environment doesn’t require (or strongly suggest) closed-toe shoes, and you have a really kicky color of nail polish on, why not try some Steve Madden leopard print peep toes ?

Or how ’bout some buttery soft chocolate brown boots from Aerosoles?

I could stand all day in all of the shoes I listed…and my feet would look damn good while I did it.

If you still doubt me, try some Foot Petals…they make even the three-inch (and sometimes slightly higher) shoes I wear bearable. And, if those aren’t heavy-duty enough for you, Dr. Scholl’s makes gel cushions for the balls of your feet.

Now if I could just figure out how to remove tapered, pleated pants from the shelves of all major department stores….

I was flipping through the Smithsonian Store catalogue today, and I’ve come to a very important conclusion:

When all of my megalomaniacal tendencies have reached their peak and I finally rule the world from my limestone cave lair (which, according to NARA, is both secure and preservation-quality), I will have the kind of study that movie super-villains do, complete with built-in bookshelves (stocked with leather-bound volumes, of course), a floor globe , dictionary stand, and the Compact Oxford English Dictionary .

Also, if you are a super-villain/librarian-in-training like me, and don’t yet have the dictionary stand, floor globe, or cave/lair, the Oxford English Dictionary website offers an RSS feed for its “Word of the Day.”

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