that was the week that was – where I got my ideas

dismevowel me?

So hey, I was over at BoingBoing this week. This was also the week my friend Dawn came to visit and I was in Florida for three days. I also worked at the school like normal. It was sort of a hectic week. I don’t read BoingBoing usually. I like it but can’t keep up with it. This past week, I enjoyed getting to see the other side of it. I’m more used to the world of MetaFilter where posts are for other people, not about yourself, don’t have photos, etc. I had a hard time adjusting.

So, in case anyone’s curious, here’s an annotated list of what I blogged about there, with some extra “where do you get your ideas?” notes tossed in for good measure. I’m typing this on a plane [with wifi! expensive! too expensive for me!] on leg three of my six leg [car-plane-plane-subway-bus-car] trip home from Florida. Update: I am now home. My last post appeared on BoingBoing flanked by McDonald’s ads.

  1. At the edges of libraries – a few links I liked and a small “thanks for having me”
  2. Phil Agre located, search not quite over – I had been paying attention to this story since I heard about it. Phil is brilliant, haunted, and vanished in 2008 sometime. I saw this update on and made a quick note.
  3. What’s really on bittorrent anyway? – found when reading the Freedom to Tinker blog which I read regularly.
  4. “The only perfect reference work” Nelson’s Perpetual Loose-Leaf Encyclopaedia – a friend emailed me about a friend of his who was coming out with a fascinating book about… something. He also mentioned this encyclopedia which I think I may have a few volumes of. I did some digging.
  5. Airplane bird strikes are now public information – my friend Mike twittered about public FAA databases and I lost myself clicking around this one.
  6. Slime as Engineer – brainless mold mimics Tokyo subway – I found this by accident [or serendipity] as I was looking up something else but it had a “bb would like this” vibe to it.
  7. The peculiar challenges of Chinese Braille – judith twittered about someone reading Braille on the bus and I went off reading about Braille.
  8. Read Houdini’s books via Google Books and Library of Congress – a pal emailed me a link to the original blog post about it. I’ve always been a fan of Houdini and full-text books available online.
  9. Catch a cold for the holidays: a history of The Common Cold Unit – I answered a question for Ask MetaFilter about how communicable the common cold was and what we knew about it and everything I looked up pointed to the work done at the CCU. May be one of those things fascinating to me and only sort of interesting to other people.
  10. Skin contact between performers creates a positive social environment – Melissa and Hiram posted a link to this on facebook. I enjoyed the video and the goofy musician’s take on things.
  11. “If we’re there, where aren’t we?” — PBS looks at life online – Doug Rushkoff emailed me about this and it seemed like something the BB crowd would enjoy. I was hoping to use the tawdry photo of the girl in her underwear that graces the Frontline page [stay classy!] but opted instead of Patrick Stewart.
  12. Copyright disputes in the 1840s – my friend Hugh thought I might like his Mom’s blog where she wrote about Dickens and some other terrific stuff.
  13. Lessig on Copyright and Culture: “Things could have been different” – found this somewhere on Twitter. I suspect there’s some sort of Lessig history on BB because I was surprised that this got zero comments.
  14. Funny easter egg – David Weinberger’s twitter pointed me to this one. Surprised it was so popular.
  15. A concise history of the [Judas] Priest logo – Modcult is one of my favorite blogs and it was all I could do to not just point to every single post they made.
  16. Book Sharing Bankrupting Publishing Industry! – not sure where I originally found this, but anyone who is making amusing satire about ALA deserves more exposure.
  17. Build privacy into national broadband policy says CDT – I read the CDT’s blog in my RSS reader and this sort of thing is 1) important 2) woefully under-reported
  18. Pietenpol’s DIY airplane:”a common man’s airplane” – an email correspondent/library buddy of mine posted about this documentary on his blog. It had a DIY aesthetic that I enjoyed.boing-mac
  19. Valentine: serialized multilingual device-independent comics – a friend of mine is working with the artist/writer of this comic and pointed it out. I’m impressed with multi-lingual efforts and though tthey did a great job with this one. Plus hey, comix!
  20. Puppets are fun – the last puppet theater in LA. I like the idea, was sorry I couldn’t find more catchy media for this post.
  21. The longest-running open source project: US Federal Depository libraries – I have very good friends who are the authors of FreeGovInfo and they suggested this post.
  22. Make your own mossarium! – the post I was born to make.
  23. Librarians for Fair Access resists exclusive content contracts – interesting issue in the library world this week, maybe a little inside baseball for BB, but I thought people would understand it and appreciate it.
  24. The unbearable awfulness of pine mouth – my friend Dawn mentioned this to me and I looked up some stuff about it.
  25. Robots + Monsters reopens today, donations to aid Haitan relief – I have loved these illustrations since R&M first opened and it was timely that they had something to announce this week.
  26. 310 class photos from 80 years of PS 99 in Queens NY – one of my favorite posts but maybe not as punchy as it could be. Watching this neighborhood change via the school photos was, I thought, fascinating.
  27. Illuminated 15th c. Manuscript – full of hidden demons – a friend made a post about this on MetaFilter and I repurposed it a little for BB.
  28. Superman – The 1948 Serial – not sure how I found this, I think randomly by looking at free stuff in the Internet Archive.
  29. music for/by the birds – a favorite recent post on MeFi by a friend who just became a dad! Seemed like a safe starting post.

What do you think?


  1. w/r/t “Where aren’t we?” Hm, I can’t sit still for two hours and focus on anything either, but that definitely predates the digital revolution.

  2. Totally unrelated.
    “You don’t shoot deer in the winter because they taste like hemlock” My student learns typing and teaches me wildlife lessons

    Did you get any feedback on this? I consulted with my hunter friends and this statement is false. Gnawing curiosity.

  3. You know, I totally didn’t. I’ll ask him again when I see him, it’s totally possible he was messing with me.