Sign in or Join FriendFeed
FriendFeed is the easiest way to share online. Learn more »
Walt Crawford

Walt Crawford

Mostly retired library person/researcher/writer/speaker. All original FF contributions CC0 (public domain).
Good news/bad news on my Semi-Random Reading Regimen (SRRR™): Good: After giving up on Thomas Pynchon part way into Mason & Dixon, I tried the newer Inherent Vice...and liked it quite a bit. Less good: Tried to read Gene Wolfe's Urth of the New Sun (years after I read The Book of the New Sun)...and gave up after 100 pages or so.
Library subnote: When I turned in Inherent Vice, a librarian or staff member waved me over to the circ desk because "the dragon"--the returns reader & belt--was tied up. She saw it and said she liked it, and had also given up on Mason & Dixon. And not to bother with Pynchon's next novel... - Walt Crawford
I have never even started Mason & Dixon. I have decided that means I'm ahead of you. - laura x from iPhone
Yeah, I'd just skip right past it. Unless you're really, really fond of spelled-out dialects. Really, REALLY fond... apparently the problem with the other book she mentioned is that it stops without coming to any conclusions. - Walt Crawford
I tried to read Mason and Dixon two times and got about halfway through each time, so by my reckoning reading two halves equals one whole book. - Stephen Francoeur
You got halfway through? Twice? You're more persistent than I am... - Walt Crawford
While my blog post did turn up here, perhaps worth a separate note: The December 2014 Cites & Insights, with the longer "half" of a deeper look at Gold OA journals and "journals," is out now. More here:
Among other things in this issue: Where all those no-fee Gold OA journals are, the (maximum average) cost per article in two dozen topics (guess which topic has an average cost of $0.00 per article among 55 DOAJ-listed non-Beall non-OASPA journals--and no, it's not LIS), and more. - Walt Crawford
Cites & Insights 14:11 (December 2014) available -
A writer at Alternet just summarized Fast Company better than I've ever been able to: "According to a 2010 piece in Fast Company, the trade journal of the breathless bullshit industry" - in a piece on TED:
FastCo is also the magazine whose management's answer to the "brick wall between editorial and advertising" rule for any kind of real journalism is, apparently, "wall? what wall?" - Walt Crawford
Took a pretty clean shot at TED as well - WarLord
True, and in line with what else I've read. (Somehow I find conflating the two Chris Andersons convenient...) - Walt Crawford
It's always nice to have actual reasons to bolster my instinctive disdain for that rag. - laura x from iPhone
Laura: My sense is that your instincts are generally pretty good. I take it (and will through 6/16 because of dirt-cheap long-term renewals) partly because after getting rid of Wired I thought I should have one Bright & Shiny mag...and thought FastCo had become less of a cult than it used to be. That's the third problem with FastCo: there's more than a touch of cultishness about it. - Walt Crawford
My understanding of South African history is fuzzy at best, but: Is there a good reason why the alternative language interface (to English) for a S.A. medical journal (hosted on SA's instance of SciELO) is Portuguese? Did Portugal play some major role in early South Africa?
I looked at that after asking the question. 80,000 people out of 53 million and *not* being one of SA's 11 official languages hardly seems enough to make Portuguese the ***only*** alternative to English for the journal's interface. But maybe they're very strong in the medical community? (Or maybe the journal picked up SciELO language-option defaults and only deleted Spanish...) - Walt Crawford
One of the supporters (FAPESP) of SciELO operates out of Sao Paulo too, so says Pete. - Marina's Godmother :-)
It looks like Portuguese is an interface language on all instances. - Pete from FFHound(roid)!
Well, yes, Portuguese *should* be an interface language in Brazil, and it makes some sense that it's in all instances of SciELO, since that's where SciELO began and is strongest. - Walt Crawford
OK, I get it, Pete & Helen: Since there are *some* Portuguese-speakers in SA and no known group of Spanish-speakers, it makes sense to delete the Spanish interface but leave the Portuguese one intact. Thanks. And now I know just a little more about SA. - Walt Crawford
Can anybody else get to, say, the 2013 archives for a Baishideng Publishing Group journal such as World Journal of Gastroenterology? I can't get anything but 2014 on any of them, but I may be having Flash problems.
Not that I have any reason to believe the archives use Flash, but I'm grasping at straws...a journal that charges >$1,000 APC and has around 800 papers for the first half of 2014 damn well should have working archives. - Walt Crawford
Curiosity of reading the paper on a Kindle (the San Francisco Chronicle) and not being a sports fan: Because the "front page" did *not* have a baseball story (unlike the past week), I assumed the Giants must have lost. Then got to the Sporting Green--which I skip--and realized they won.
Most probable explanation: the Chron ran a special wraparound commemorative "front page," probably a full-page poster on the back, and that didn't make it to the Kindle edition. - Walt Crawford
Aren't polls with predetermined results great: "The CNN/ORC poll shows that 30% of Americans are "very angry" and 38% are "somewhat angry" about the way things are going in the country, while 31% expressed "no anger" at all."--in other words, your only choice was *how* angry you are.
[C&P from Google News; sorry, no link.] - Walt Crawford
Oh, wait: Here's the link. - Walt Crawford
Today almost started out sadly. I was reading the Sunday paper (on the Kindle) in our sunny "breakfast nook" with its big floor-to-ceiling glass doors...when I heard a BANG! Looked out, and there was a bird on the patio that had clearly flown right into the window and seemed to be dying, on its back with little feet waving slowly back and forth...
Fortunately, just about the time my wife got up and I mentioned this--15 minutes later or so--I looked again and the bird was standing on those little feet--but still unclear whether it could do any more. Then, about 20 minutes later, it opened its eyes. After about 10-15 more minutes, it started hopping across the patio and testing its wings. Finally, to our cheers, it flew away more than an hour after the crash. (There was no blood on the window, so we were hopeful.) - Walt Crawford
Yay! - bentley
I guess stone fruit season's over. One vendor still had pluots and plums at today's Farmers' Market, but they were, well, pretty nasty looking. Fortunately, the Esmeralda pluots from last week were delicious--a good way to end the season. Now to wait for California navel oranges to show up...
Clear beginnings of "real fall" in our mild-but-dry climate: Yesterday, had to switch from AC to heat. This morning, outside temp. dropped below 50F for first time since, probably, March. And, sigh, today's paper says even chance Northern California will have...another dry year.
[Yes, we could have both AC and heat activated, since AC doesn't cut in until 80F or above and heat doesn't cut in until 70F or below, 66 at night...but we never leave both active.] - Walt Crawford
For those of you who watched Stargate SG-1 and either didn't see the Stargate Continuum movie or saw it but didn't watch the featurettes: If you didn't see the movie (and saw the series), you really should. The key thing, though...
Watch the featurettes--specifically the 21-minute "Stargate Goes To the Arctic" one. Those really strong early scenes set in the Arctic, including the nuclear sub rising through the ice and most of SG-1 getting on the sub, scenes set on the sub, and the sub descending? Great special effects, right? - Walt Crawford
Except, as the featurette shows, they weren't special effects. The sub was real (and its crew was used for the sub scenes), it really was the deep Arctic, the team and a reduced filming crew spent more than a week in those conditions...amazing stuff. - Walt Crawford
Cites & Insights 14:10 (October/November 2014) available -
This issue is Part 1 of the two-part "deeper look" into thousands of gold OA journals and "journals." Part 2 (December 2014), which I'll start writing tomorrow, focuses on 3,300 non-medical/non-biology DOAJ-listed journals and adds some new thoughts. Do use the single-column version unless you plan to print it out: the 48 tables are easier to read. - Walt Crawford
I was impressed by a story in today's SF Chronicle (not yet on SFGate, so can't link), about the death of a mountain lion. The journalist made sure we knew that "mountain lion" and "puma" and "cougar" are all synonyms at least in using all three within the first three paragraphs.
Idle thought as I was ripping out turf and listening to music, when "Old Friends" came up: "Gee, Paul Simon can't be that much younger than I. Will he really find it terribly strange to be 70?" (for me, that's a year from now). Turns out he's nearly four years older than I am, so he's been feeling terribly strange since October 2011...
[Probably beaten to death in the popular media back then; I don't keep up with that stuff very well.] - Walt Crawford
I don't find it terribly strange to be 38, but when I'm with my friend I've known since we were 4, I often think it is terribly strange that we are now both so much older and have children (and one of hers is in high school!). - laura x
When we are 70, we'll have known each other for 66 years. - laura x
Not at all related, or maybe it is: Last Saturday's "Asbury Follies"--a low-key thing at my brother's church--included "When I'm 94," sung by a man to his wife, the man considerably closer to 94 than to 64. Quite lovely, actually... - Walt Crawford
Also, now I'm listening to all of Simon & Garfunkel in chronological order and feeling oddly nostalgic for high school. - laura x
Odd opinion formed because of alphabetic song playing sequence: When it comes to dissing dull small towns, I think Garth Brooks' "Nobody Gets Off In This Town" wins over S&G's "My Little Town." Although the latter is certainly more dramatic, the former's funnier & more pointed. (I like them both.) - Walt Crawford
Since the post apparently didn't show up: Today through October 15--an unusually long sale period--you can save 25% on any of my *print* Cites & Insights Books (or other Lulu print books) with sale code EATYOUREGGS - more here:
25% off Cites & Insights Books through October 15, 2014 -
So KA at Skitchen thinks it's worth reposting Joe Esposito's year-old essay basically saying "most [first-world] scientists can get all the articles they need, therefore there is no access problem." Amazing how defining a problem away can solve it.
OTOH, this does help remind us why it's so damn difficult to get scientists to do anything about OA. In practice, most [first-world, university-affiliated] scientists can get [almost] all of the articles they['re aware they] need. And, after all, it's only the scientists who count. - Walt Crawford
One discussion during the hike today had to do with tips and minimum wage. I asserted that California does *not* allow paying servers less than minimum wage, even if they receive tips, and that this was fairly unusual. Just checked: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Nevada all require payment of full state minimum wage...
(and for California, Oregon and Washington that wage is at least $9/hour, a little higher in OR and WA). Montana and Minnesota have or will have *something* similar, but both allow smaller businesses to pay less. Just an interesting factoid... - Walt Crawford
Nevada I assume it's because it's a got incredibly strong service industry unions. Don't know about the rest. - laura x
It's one of the reasons I was so surprised that it wasn't that way everywhere else - the only places I've waitressed were in WA. While there is a strong union presence, it's also just a fairly liberal place. - Jennifer Dittrich
Minnesota does not have "tip credit" does not allow sub-minimum wage for tipped workers. Hotly debated and may change in future - Gov sons own hugely successful restaurant in Minneapolis and are lobbying him to cut mandated wages for tipped workers... FEDERAL minimum wage does allow tip credit deduction - WarLord
I'd say OR and WA for the reasons Jennifer does, and CA is liberal in many ways--and the unions aren't invisible here. The fact that all three have $9 or higher minimum wage says *something*... Yes, the Federal minimum wage, awful as it is anyway, can be as low as $2.30/hour with tip deduction! (I checked a Fed site for these facts) - Walt Crawford
Oops. Make the Fed number $2.13/hour. Here's the site: - Walt Crawford
Fortunately, the Feds don't say "and states can't treat workers any less shabbily than we do." - Walt Crawford
Reading some tweets that seemed to be about inadequacies in California's environmental work...then finally realized "oh, wait, CA means Canada in this case, not California." (Which then calls for a followup with the odd and maybe unfortunate fact in a recent PG&E ad:...
To wit, more than half of all rooftop solar/photovoltaic installations in the U.S. are within PG&E's service area, mostly northern & central California. I believe that, but it's still sad. (I think the state added 2.5gW of photovoltaic capacity last year, if I remember correctly.) - Walt Crawford
Oops. Just checked. California *has* about 2.5gW (or is it GW? gigawatts in either case) photovoltaic at this point; it's been growing rapidly, but it certainly wasn't all added last year. - Walt Crawford
Weather curiosity: When it's predicted to reach 95-97F in September, well, that's late summer. When it's predicted to reach 95-77F in the first week of October, that's BIG LOCAL TV NEWS WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE... I must be missing something: people's bodies change drastically on 10/1?
For those of you who don't already check NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day daily, you gotta see today's: A full rainbow--the full circle--with most of a double around it:
Wow! - Marie
That's AMAZING! - Iain Baker
In case it wasn't obvious, I'm also suggesting adding that site to your daily review list--the pictures are always informative and frequently spectacular. Even if they can cause an ongoing time sink like my wife's fascination with the live camera feeds from ISS... - Walt Crawford
But... where's the end? Where's the pot o' gold? - bentley
Where it's always been, I'm afraid. - Walt Crawford
For those who might be interested: finished the slow slog of re-trying 64 DOAJ non-medical/bio journals I couldn't reach the first time around (but didn't get a 404). Was able to reach & process 18 of the 64. (Well, 19, but on one, attempts to reach actual archives/issues always timed out.) Worth the time, I think.
A slog because I couldn't line up ten tabs in a row--Excel's miraculous trick of executing a hyperlink and opening a tab in your favored browser only works one link at a time, and Excel hangs until it's either found something, gotten an error message, or...well, or until I give up and hit Esc. - Walt Crawford
Wayne Bivens-Tatum weighs in again on the #teamharpy situation:
Apropos very little, we've now watched both new (broadcast) TV shows we'd decided to try this Fall: Madam Secretary on Sunday, Scorpion on Monday. Unusually (I think), we like both and plan to keep watching. (OK, so both are on the Old Folks' Network, CBS. But that's also where the summer series we regret having wasted 13 hours on was...)
That latter being Extant, which we assume won't be back next summer. We won't bother if it is. Started out with high hopes, devolved into a Plotfest that really never went anywhere. - Walt Crawford
Full marks for this one: the Forum for Inter-American Research, abbreviated FIAR. The "who we are" page (editorial board, etc.) has the heading "The Ring of FIAR."
Down, down, down in a burning - Christina Pikas from iPhone
Last night, went with wife, brother, sister-in-law to Campo di Bocce (restaurant & bocce ball courts), which my wife & I go to once a month or so, for my birthday dinner...partly because CdB gives people a full four-course dinner, anything on the menu (appetizer, salad, entree, dessert) for free on their birthday. And it's a pretty good restaurant.
Happy Birthday! I think you've caught up with me, now. - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
The question here: How many restaurants do this? (Yes, I can get a free slice of pie at Shari's; not quite the same as a $28 12oz. New York steak, done beautifully, a great caesar salad, a heart-stopping chocolate torte--I skipped the appetizer, and brought half the steak home. All free, with the waitress encouraging me to order an appetizer as well. Up to $50 in free food.) - Walt Crawford
Is this level of customer good will common elsewhere? Rare? Unheard of? - Walt Crawford
That's a really good deal. But you should get the appetizer and give it to somebody. Like me. - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
There was a chain restaurant in Michigan that gave you a small free birthday cake on your birthday. I worked two doors down from one, and there were three engineers at my company who shared a birthday and went there every year. They kept looking for a fourth amongst the new employees, but never found one. [EDIT: the restaurant was Bill Knapp's.] - bentley
m9m: Last year, actually, my brother ordered two appetizers as a dinner (which turned out to be too much food)...and when the bill arrived, they'd zeroed out his appetizer. For anyone who lives in the area: The tiramisu is probably a better dessert than the chocolate torte, but once a year, I go for pure evil. And since my wife and brother both got the tiramisu as part of their $23 three-course dinners, I got some of that anyway. - Walt Crawford
[Technically, the three-course dinner includes a "half-size" salad and dessert--but half-size is more than enough in both cases.] - Walt Crawford
Oh, and yes, you're right, m9m: I'm back to being the same age as you are. (At least I think so. Let's say that next year I have to make some 403(b) decisions...) - Walt Crawford
I often order the senior citizen version of a meal - for the lower price and the reduced size - and discover that the kitchen just makes the same size meal anyway. Or my kid orders a small thing I actually want, I order a senior meal, and we swap. - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
I like that place! And my birthday is hopefully coming up soon. <thinks> - Brian Johns
C&I and The Project: A quick update -
I wouldn't normally link to a media trade publication, but this one's almost too precious. Here's the link, followed by my comments:
Comment 1: The supposed biggest drop, for 18-34 year olds, amounts to five minutes a day--from 4 hours 22 minutes ***A DAY*** of TV viewing down to a mere 4 hours 17 minutes a year ago. (50-60 year olds supposedly average 6 hours 12 minutes ***A DAY*** of TV viewing, down a whopping six minutes.) - Walt Crawford
Comment 1a: This, of course, assumes that Nielsen's methodologies can be considered so accurate for the whole country that a five minute drop out of more than four hours is statistically meaningful or real-world meaningful. My BS detector is pinned at 11 at this point... - Walt Crawford
Comment 2: The article (not Nielsen) makes a thing of double-digit increases in "digital video usage" (never mind that all broadcast and nearly all cable TV is now digital, that just confuses the picture): the coveted 18-34 year olds jumped by 53% to a whopping 35 minutes a day. (I don't doubt that figure, actually, or the 19 minutes for 50-64 year olds.) - Walt Crawford
Comment 3: Note who's not represented at all in this report, presumably because we/they are economically irrelevant: kids under 18 and that handful of people who've lived to 65 and older. - Walt Crawford
Honest question: does GoDaddy just not offer autorenewal of domain registry--and fail to remind people that their domains need renewing? I'm seeing a large handful of Gold OA journals that have turned into parking pages, and they're almost always GoDaddy pages that weren't renewed. That shouldn't happen. Ever.
Admittedly, I'm spoiled: 1&1 charges less (I think), allows autorenewal *and* reminds you twice before the renewal happens, and reminds you in any case. Oh, and has never (AFAIK) run sexist ads on TV. - Walt Crawford
Other ways to read this feed:Feed readerFacebook