The Dumpster at the Champaign Public Library

Snapped this pic of the contents of the dumpster at the Champaign Public Library the other day. Last fall I pulled a bike-trailer-full of books out of the dumpster (while being threatened with arrest), and while going through the books is a background project, my plan is to see if some of the rarer volumes are available in the area.

In Double Fold, as you probably know, Nicholson Baker makes a tidy argument for the renewal, among librarians, of the practice of archiving unique editions and copies of texts. (Double Fold is also an extended tirade against bad microfilming. Oye!)

As you can see from my pic (above), most of what gets tossed at my local library is far from unique, but I'd still like to see these books go somewhere other than the local landfill.



and then I came across (oh this web of ours!) this nice screen.vid on making art w/ colored dots colored backgrounds in table cells in html:

Gasp, it's My Blog!

This blog is not dead. While this blog may appear to be dead, it is not dead. See, this blog is alive. This blog was only sleeping while I was away from el web, the appliance of all appliances.

What is el web? Is it an appliance of grand size? Yes, this is true and it is made up in small part by this blog that has not been dead but has only been sleeping.

I want to blog about the dumpster at the library near my house and how it's always full of books, but I don't have time right now. No, I do not have time to blog about a dumpster full of books. But I will have time some other time. So tune in soon for Saga From the Crypt!


Strange Signage

I noticed this strange sign at a chain "bar-b-que" joint near my house in Champaign. The sign is doing the obvious thing of attempting to make the establishment seem all "down home" via some kind of vernacular speech. Of a southern variety? I really can't tell.

The "Fri-Sat 10:30" and "Sun 9:00" at the bottom seem to suggest closing times, but that's only implied by the "9:30/Mon-Thurs" up above. And then "nite" for "night" seems meant to express a colloquialism in the same way that "pretty weared out" does, but why spell it that way? I guess if I ate more "bar-b-que" I'd know the answer.


Taylor Mali on the Mic

(who has some nice frame-by-frame kinetic image action via object.mouseover on his site)


UIUC Library on Facebook

The UIUC library is now accessible through Facebook.

Hey, if the undergrounduate library can have a MySpace page with 498 friends, why not a Facebook page? Oh the sheer joy of finding books through the new Facebook widget!*




Bespectacled Statuary

I came across yet another bespectacled statue on campus, this one in the Art Building. Tell me the sight of a statue wearing glasses does not make you giggle. (More here.)


Writing Between the Bubbles

ED messaged me yesterday to report that, while grading a ton of standardized tests, she started coming across tests where the test takers had written things between the bubbles.

She took pics and posted them as a Flickr set here. The images are cool; they show test takers frustrated with the simplicity of the test, wanting to speak back to the testers, and generally playing in the interstices of standardization.


On Being Called Stewart

RBM has a funny am-I-losing-it? post (not that losing it is funny; well, I guess it's kind of funny), and one of the things she mentions as evidence is having accidentally called me Stewart on her blog. The deal, however, is that she's not losing it, or at least having called me Stewart instead of Spencer is no sign of it, because people call me Stewart all of the time. I'm not joking: all. of. the. time.

(I know, I know: I should have written "people call me metastewart instead of metaspencer all of the time," but that has yet to happen.)

There are currently, for instance, two senior colleagues who I work with who refer to me as Stewart on a regular basis. "Hi Stewart," they say as they pass me in the hallways. And it's not one of those things that just happened once, say right when I started the job. Two years into the job and just a couple of weeks ago one of these fine folks called me Stewart right in front of the main department office. I start to wonder if, when tenure-time come around, if they'll know to discuss the right case?

But this is nothing new. When I worked at Portland State University, back in the '90s, a person I worked very closely with also called me Stewart. She'd say "Hey Stewart" and then, after the first year or so, catch herself and feel horrible about it. Every now and then she'd come down to my office and ask "Did I call you Stewart again earlier? Why do I keep doing that!?!"

Which is a very good question. Stewart and Spencer kind of sound alike, they kind of look alike, and they're both generally British-sounding, but why is it that no one every calls me Stanley or Sydney or Stephen? I have never once been called Simon. It's always Stewart, and I've come to the conclusion that it's not any of these Stewart-callers' faults for calling me Stewart, but instead that my name just happens to exist at some kind of (warning: highly technical term approaching) glitch.point in our software.

Knowing next to nothing about cognitive linguistics and the mechanics of recall, I still want to say that at least some portion of us seem to misfile Spencer and, as a result, consistently end up pulling up Stewart when we go looking for Spencer. Isn't this weird? Does this happen to anyone else with such regularity?

Heading off to register metastewart.com ...