Let’s hear it for Librarians


By way of Jessamyn West’s librarian.net, here is a list of 33 reasons librarians are still extremely important. Mary Carmen also offers a passionate defense of Access Services on her new Circ and Serve weblog.

Book Review: Thumbs, Toes, and Tears by Chip Walter


Thumbs, Toes, and Tears: And Other Traits That Make Us Human by Chip Walter is an evolutionary story about what sets human beings apart from other animals. Walter specifically identifies six traits of humans that can be found in no other species: Big toes, opposable thumbs, the pharynx, laughter, tears, and kissing. The big toe…

Movie Review: The Departed


On Friday night, Susan & I finally saw the Boston-based crime drama The Departed. This movies is the goriest and most brutal I’ve seen since The Gangs of New York. Not surprisingly, the two films share the same director Martin Scorsese. Other things in common are that they are stories about Irish mobsters and star…

Independent Book Stores


Three recent articles of interest regarding bookstores: First an article about the people responsible for opening new independent book stores at a time when the independent book store is is said to be on it’s death bed: ‘We’re not in it for the money’ The number of independent bookstores has been steadly growing. But will…

Not scared enough?


One of the things that push my buttons most when following the news is fearmongering. So you won’t be surprised how peeved I am by the following headline. “U.S. not scared enough of bird flu, Senate told” — By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor. Copyright 2007 Reuters. I think the last thing that the…

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0


Until recently I had no idea what Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 are, and furthermore little interest. Mainly because these trendy terms kept popping in everything I read and I have a strong aversion to trendiness. I even read one blog that stated that one can increase traffic to one’s blog by including the terms…

Henry Knox and “The Noble Train of Artillery”


This week is the anniversary of one of the most interesting events of the American Revolution. After the initial battles of the Revolution in 1775, the British army held the city of Boston while Continental troops under command of George Washington attempted to lay siege to the city while holding the high ground in neighboring…

Concert Review: Marcia Ball


Jan. 25, 2007 — Marcia Ball at the Regattabar, Cambridge, MA. At the invitation of Susan’s friend Donna, we met up with a large group at the Regattabar in Harvard Square’s posh Charles Hotel for a concert by Marcia Ball and her band. Self-described as honky tonk, Ball plays a mix of electric blues, cajun,…

Book Review: Heaven’s Command: An Imperial Progress by James Morris


Heaven’s Command: An Imperial Progress is the first in the Pax Britannica trilogy of history books about the British Empire by James Morris (better known today as Jan Morris, the world’s most respected travel writer). This volume traces the rise of the Empire from a few scattered holdings to dominance over 2/3’s of the Earth…

Movie Review: The Case of the Grinning Cat


Tonight I went to the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square and used my membership voucher to see The Case of the Grinning Cat or Chats Perchés in the original French. This documentary set in Paris follows the filmmaker Chris Marker’s fascination with giant yellow cats with great big grins that suddenly begin appearing painted on…

Snow


From Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning, snow gently fell on the metro Boston area for the first time this winter. At least it was a close approximation of snow that dusted the region and tried to remind us what season it really is. For me it is a proud moment because I’m still trying to…

Francis de Sales


A year ago on some whim I now can’t remember I signed up for the Saint of the Day e-newsletter at American Catholic. As as a result of reading this newsletter everyday I was led to read My Life With The Saints by James Martin which in turned inspired me to do these reflections on…

Poverty


January, the coldest and darkest month of the year, is “Poverty in America Awarenes Month”. According to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau in August 2006, 9.9 percent of all families are living in poverty which amounts to 7.7 million families down slightly from 7.9 million in 2004. As defined by the government…

Roe v. Wade, 34


Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that led to legalized abortion in the United States. I found a couple of reflections online that went beyond the usual rhetoric trotted out on this day and showed some insight on the controversy. The first is Diana Butler’s column in the God’s Politics…

Free Admission Day at the MIT Museum


I never got around to officially making New Year’s resolutions, but one thing I had in mind in 2007 is to take more time enjoying the arts, culture, and museums available in the Boston area. I often feel I saw more of Boston before I moved here than I have in the past 8 years…

Book Review: Subway Style by the New York Transit Museum


Just before Christmas Susan & I met up with our friend Craig at Rodney’s Bookstore in Cambridge. The plan was that we’d split up and each buy a book for each other person in our trio that we thought the other person should read and then give them to one another across the street at…

Disillusionment


There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to face the fact that their childhood heroes are fallible. Sure they always seem happy and humble in accepting the adoration of their fans. But there’s always that point where there head gets too big and they descend into debauchery and have their photos splashed…

Architecture


I read a book review in the Boston Globe about a book I’ll definitely have to add to my reading list, The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. The book apparently explores the why of architecture. What de Botton tries to do is figure out why there have been, and still are, so many…

Weekend in New York


Susan had to attend a conference in New York City over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend. Instead of staying home eating pizza, drinking beer, and listening to lonesome blues music, I decided to travel to the City with Susan. She was pleased to have my company and know that I’d be able to entertain…

Marguerite Bourgeoys


Call it jingoism but I have a fondness for North American saints. The first Canadian woman canonized as a saint, Marguerite Bourgeoys is no exception. I first encountered Marguerite Bourgeoys in fourth grade, my first year at Catholic school. My experiences at St. Cecilia’s were not the best as for three years I was the…