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Walt Crawford

Walt Crawford

Mostly retired library person/researcher/writer/speaker. All original FF contributions CC0 (public domain).
Cites & Insights 14:9 (September 2014) available -
If you haven't already, go read Wayne Bivens-Tatum's latest "Peer to Peer" at Library Journal. Highly recommended!
I had missed the "pure bilge" comment on WBT's column on the first "The Big Deal..." and am now thinking I should use it as a new subtitle for Cites & Insights. (Or maybe not.) It's good to be pure. - Walt Crawford
Old-guy technology grump 1: Forced to use Yahoo!mail (for freecycle), encountering old-style idiot reply defaults (tendency to wind up replying to yourself). Gmail handles this logically (you probably *don't* want to reply to yourself) and I'd forgotten that idiot email systems worked this way.
Old-guy technology grump 2: Yesterday morning, looking at hike pictures from Gmail, Firefox properly opened new tab for the pictures...but wouldn't close the tab. Wound up with six tabs, none of which would close (using any of several techniques). "Solution": Closed Firefox, reopened it, same six tabs but now they'd close. Still wonder what happened. - Walt Crawford
Not surprisingly, the San Francisco Chronicle is running more pieces about Robin Williams, some pointing out that he was an actor and comedian, not a comedian-actor (he trained at Juilliard), and the local movie critic's list of ten best films (headed by Moscow on the Hudson). Too many to link to; just go to
Warning: At least on my aging computer running Firefox, seems to use a boatload of system resources and slows things down something awful--including getting away from it. - Walt Crawford
An hour ago, on the way to lunch, hearing NPR's "Here and Now" interviewing a hero, a doctor (Harvard grad, professor, high-profile) who travels to Mississippi to do abortions. He's deeply religious and grew up anti-abortion, but after a lot of thought concluded that the deeper calling required him to do them.
Here's the thing: The host almost seemed to be grilling him, with an attitude that seemed to imply "How can a Christian POSSIBLY be doing abortions?" Maybe I was overreacting, but it struck me as, well, very non-NPRish. (I do miss Talk of the Nation; Here and Now is a sad alternative.) - Walt Crawford
Esquire did an incredibly good piece on him: - laura x
I think the reporter who wrote that profile was also on, but by the time I reached Canton Village, the NPR person was still doing her seemingly-hostile questioning. - Walt Crawford
I think NPR gets so much flak for being "liberal" that they periodically get into a thing where they think, "Oh, here, we can show what hard-asses we are!" Bleah. I still remember how appalling I found Neal Conan on 9/11. - laura x
The rarity with this doctor is he is a board certified ob/gyn. Most abortionists are not nor have had any true operating room experience other than their few months of rotation. I have my own personal beliefs but applaud this man. - Janet
Laura x: That sounds about right. Janet: It would be interesting to have proof of that "most abortionists..." but that's another issue. - Walt Crawford
Walt, I have first hand knowledge of the abortion trade, I used to do ultrasound demonstrations. The Planned Parenthood doctors are mostly farmed right out of medical school. There are a private physicians of the ob/gyn board certified type. Sadly being legal does not always mean as safe as the public would assume. Kermit Gosnell's clinic is not alone. Steve Brigham is a bad boy Planned Parenthood finally fired. - Janet
I'll assume you're in favor of improved/expanded training for abortion providers (and those interested in providing abortions), so that safety is ensured :) - Meg VMeg
Meg: I certainly am (can't speak for Janet), and would note that PP would probably be a safer place if clinics weren't under attack all the time. (Of course, PP does a lot more than provide abortions, but that's another issue, and yes, we're members.) - Walt Crawford
While undoubtedly there are uncertified and unlicensed health care providers and outright illegal clinics, if you're a legitimate health care provider, doing surgical abortions without training and/or certification and/or proper back-up seem like a great way to get nuked by a malpractice lawsuit and having your carrier drop you hard and getting banned from ever receiving Medicare or... more... - Victor Ganata
Absolutely Meg, there are more regulations on nail salons and restaurants than in the abortion industry. The likes of Gosnell and Brigham would have been shut down before so many women were permanently injured. - Janet
Another meaningless musical post -
Anyone know of a way to get back a specific Special Offer on a Kindle? (The ones that come up when you first turn it on, if you've saved $20 by buying the special offer models.) Twice now my wife's seen possibly-interesting Kindle book offers, but gone past them and been unable to get back.
Natureally, I’m delighted -
Bookending August with live musical theater at the Bankhead. Yesterday was Shrek: The Musical, Tri-Valley Rep (all volunteer). Good, except orchestra too loud (so we missed some of the lyrics) and kids miked with too much treble (which young voices already have too much of). End of month: Pirates of Penzance, Lamplighters.
We know from experience that the Lamplighters won't deafen us and that they'll do a first-rate job. Shorter on fart jokes, though. - Walt Crawford
Am I wrong to feel irritable when a free service, where I was encouraged to sign up, says it's going to charge (I've never really used it)--and the site offers no way to say "Remove my account"? (I've sent support email. Clearly, they won't/can't actually charge me, but I don't care for the Second Life "Hotel California" model.)
Not naming the service for now, because they seemed sincere about trying to do the right thing. - Walt Crawford
They took care of this rapidly, so I still won't name the service (which I suspect is an excellent one for some folks, just not for me). - Walt Crawford
I'm not sure they've completely thought through all that and they didn't set it up that way from the beginning so they're trying to retrofit? I'm not sure what i'm going to do because i really can't pay that right now, but I want to and I don't want a waiver. - Christina Pikas
I'm trying to decide because most of the things I have on it aren't 'traditional scholarly' enough for it to really understand so I have conference papers labeled as articles, articles labelled as unknown, all the things labelled as webpages, and a whole failure of deduplication. Which isn't that the system sucks so much as that my stuff's a mess, but I can't manually fix it. --I am more likely to go with the annual subscription model they've just announced. - Deborah Fitchett
Another tech pundit (Dan Tynan, I think) saying in a few years we'll look back at keyboards & mice as quaint, the way we do rotary phones & fax machines now. Right. 'Cuz you're going to write extended text using your fingers in the air, I guess. The death of keyboards has been projected almost as often as the death of books.
Heard a few minutes of Mr. "Six Californias" on NPR today. Maybe he should stay off the radio: It sounded like a pure example of very wealthy privileged Native California nostalgia gone wild: Back in the day when California had great education, was the best place to start a business, had no poverty and wonderful weather...
..before everything went to hell because Gummint. But six Gummints could fix it all. Sure they could. - Walt Crawford
Note that I'm a native Californian although never very wealthy. On the other hand, I grew up in one of those Californias he really wants to get rid of--you know, the one that grows the nation's food and has a high poverty rate, because Food. - Walt Crawford
Beautiful hiking day (a little rain yesterday and LOTS of wind cleared some of the muck out of the air), and we did "Brushy Peak counterclockwise." Which in this case meant that for the Ramblers, the intermediate group, instead of a nice pleasant 4 miles with maybe 500' rise, we had *exactly* the same hike as the Scramblers: 6.35 miles...
...and 1,350' rise. Still, pleasant if tiring. (Brushy Peak is so-called because the top is covered with trees, whereas most local hills are bare most of the time. It also has a long history, indicated in part by the many grinding rocks.) - Walt Crawford
And, TIL: I always figured Brushy Peak was a tall hill, not a short mountain. It's 1,702' (we get within a few feet of the peak, because we start out several hundred feet above sea level). Turns out that's a hill in the UK and Ireland, a mountain by old American usage. I think 2,000' or 600m is a useful lower limit for an actual mountain. - Walt Crawford
Fun times yesterday: At 3 p.m. (+/- 5 minutes), power went out. Called PG&E; it had already been reported; estimated fix 6 p.m. Which changed to 8 p.m. Which changed to (gulp) 1 a.m. Finally restored at 11:56 p.m. Went out again after about three minutes for eight minutes. Restored (and stayed restored) at 12:07 a.m.
(We needed to know when it actually came back to check the likely damage to refrigerated/frozen food: fortunately, the Samsung fridge we got with the house has external displays with the freezer/refrig. temp, normally 2F and 38F. At restoration, it was 27F and 56F--the first not a problem, the second we're not sure. Half an hour later, already down to 12F/38F.) (Corrected: 38, not 32.) - Walt Crawford
PG&E has a good automated callback system for updates on est. time of restoration and when restored, but if you say "call anytime"...they do. And the up, then down, then up again apparently got things confused: I think we got four calls between midnight and 1 a.m. As for spoilage, my wife will need to decide re milk and several cartons of liquid egg whites, otherwise probably all OK. - Walt Crawford
The lucky thing: We were able to *entirely* avoid opening refrig/freezer doors during the outage. And there is one dinner-serving restaurant in walking distance, although my wife wasn't wild about it. And we recently picked up a good LED lantern-style flashlight, by which we played two-handed solitaire for a while before giving up and going to bed early. - Walt Crawford
The fillip this morning, 15 minutes ago: Heavy rain, for about 5-10 minutes. Pretty unusual for late July in a drought year, and probably just enough to help the crunchy-underfoot "lawns." - Walt Crawford
[The "one restaurant within walking distance" is significant: We have an electric range--and an electric garage door. Didn't want to have to figure out how to open it manually if we could avoid it... Still: All FWPs. No real harm done.] - Walt Crawford
opening manually - pull down toggle thing to disengage motor and then pull up door? - Christina Pikas
Christina: Yeah, we know how it's supposed to work...but pulling up that door with a big ol' car in the way didn't sound appetizing. - Walt Crawford
After one "incompatible" Blu-ray and one damaged one, finally actually able to watch Big Miracle last night--and it's quite a good picture that seems not to have gotten much attention. Great cast, true story (three California Grey whales stranded in early ice near Barrow, during Reagan's admin.). Thoroughly enjoyable.
(Not likely to write a proper review, but if you've never heard of or seen Big Miracle--from 2012--you might take a look. - Walt Crawford
Never been a Led Zeppelin fan (nor a heavy metal fan), but listening to Pandora yesterday while indexing C&I 14.8 (the only time I use Pandora), suddenly a beautiful little totally-non-metal instrumental from LZ came up (on one of my custom channels). Remarkable. Don't remember the name of the piece, but it wasn't words.
That's the one--and I guess it might be words, just not ones I'm familiar with. Good on Pandora for associating this with the custom channel I created. - Walt Crawford
See chapter 1 free; save 15% on Cites & Insights Books -
Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) available -
Tomorrow or Friday I'll post another link--ALA Editions makes the first chapter of each LTR issue available free (and sells the other chapters cheaply). - Walt Crawford
I see that the Cato Journal is Gold OA (no fee, as far as I can tell, but external submissions are--I would guess--rare). Those damn socialists can hide in the most remarkable places...
Probably not the first one to say this, but it seems as though somebody at Bentham Open would have realized that their favorite journal-naming convention, The Open [Noun-Phrase] Journal, results in some...unpleasant titles.
E.g., The Open Inflammation Journal, The Open Lung Cancer Journal, The Open Bone Journal, The Open Colorectal Cancer Journal - Walt Crawford
The Open Closed Meetings Journal. - bentley
Those are admittedly the worst real examples I noticed--and yes, they're all real (to the extent that most Bentham Open journals are "real," which is a huge caveat). - Walt Crawford
Nothing like timing: I tried to read a Tom Peters book 25 years later, and gave up...and in last week's Economist, see the Management Fad of the Hour: Zappos' idea to turn itself into a whole bunch of self-forming project teams with little or no middle management. With a Name, of course: Holacracy.
Here's the thing: That's exactly what Peters was saying Every Company Had To Do Right Now back in the late 1980s. Oh, and turns out one of his prime examples gave up on it a few years down the road, because it only works in very special cases. (notably, the article--really a column--didn't see Holacracy as likely to be widely successful). (I may have the spelling wrong.) - Walt Crawford
Today's Bingphoto: Bark of a rainbow eucalyptus tree (Hawaii). Almost hard to believe that's real...
Always the local angle: Saw an item this morning on DARPA plans to build a neural implant device--but had already read a nice, long, detailed article on Lawrence Livermore plans to build a neural implant, in the Livermore weekly. Same device (I think), different angle.
I haven't read the whole thing (and may not), but based on the assertions at the top, the author is saying "Social psychology IS NOT SCIENCE." Which may be right, but I don't think that's what he intends to say...
[My paraphrase is based on the notion that negative findings are *always* good science where "science" is involved, and that to attack attempts to replicate makes sense in faith-based fields but not in science. But heck, I'm no scientist...] - Walt Crawford
Just about a month ago, I derailed a "wearable tech" thread to talk about accuracy and headphones, being then just about to buy a new pair of headphones because my 5-year-old (or older!) Sennheiser PX100's were wearing out (headband and earpads). With my usual lightning speed, I have now ordered new headphones.
(The Sennheiser's thin pair of wires are now failing enough that I can only get stereo if I'm actually holding the wire and connector to the MP3 player.) So, after all my cogitation, what did I buy? Turns out I really *do* want on-ear rather than over-ear or in-ear phones, so I have some sense of what's going on around me, and...well, I ordered Sennheiser PX100IIs (the new version of the same headphones). One sturdier wire, supposedly slightly better sound, does lack the neat little hard carrying case. Also the right price: $56 for the version that *doesn't* have the now mandatory (?) iStuff controls on the wire. Since I don't have iStuff, it's just one more thing to go wrong. - Walt Crawford
liberation management: a non-review -
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