A couple weeks ago I read John Halamka’s “Cool Technology of the Week” post which referenced this Boston.com article, “Technology from Yesteryear Nostalgia.” John mentioned the article isn’t about the latest greatest coolest current technology but it is a fun look back at what was totally cool technology in the past, but now is:
- Ancient: seen in museums only, unusable, unfixable
- Antique: unusable, unfixable
- Vintage: usable, old, ironic, cool
- Outdated: still available in stores, but barely used
It is fun to look through the images and the descriptions because there are quite a few things on the list that I can remember having. (I had a bright yellow Sony sports walkman that was semi-permanently attached to my head all through high school and college, especially at swim meets.)
Not only is it fun to look through the list and reminisce, but I thought it would be fun to think of the library technology of yesteryear that was once cutting edge and cool.
Here is my contribution:
Price: $0 (library cast off) - $2600 (“new”)
I remember using these in my public library all the time because the catalog (shelf list, probably to be more accurate) was on these. St. Louis County Public Library had 5-10 in each branch out in the open for people to find books (like we have our computers now). It replaced the actual card catalog. If I close my eyes I can hear the whirling and see the blurry white streaks as I zoom through the alphabet of subjects.
I would say it is vintage, but since a lot places still use this for their newspaper and other print archives, I should label it outdated. I am seeing less and less of them as more and more online news databases are adding their old stuff online.
What do you remember as a cool tech? Have some fun this Friday and list it in the comments.
We all have heard how the makers of medical lab coats are now making pockets a little bigger so doctors can put their iPad in their coat pocket. Now larger cell phones, called phablets (phone/tablet device) might be changing the way we dress.
Tim Worstall says as smartphones are getting bigger, men are at a disadvantage because their pockets can’t hold the devices and he doesn’t think men will carry purses like women do. So he envisions an increase in the number of men wearing vests. Why vests? The vests can be outfitted with a larger pocket and fit close to the body thus preventing the lop sided look of a heavy device in a jacket pocket. That ‘s great, but what about the women who don’t carry purses. There are women who generally don’t carry purses. (I am one of them.) What are we to do with our enlarged smartphone? Are we to don vests as well? Well, one female entrepreneur thinks she has the answer. The JoeyBra. Yes you read that correctly. There is somebody who created a bra with pouches to carry not only your cell phone but money, an id, and a key. No word on how the JoeyBra will work with the phablets.
I see a Project Runway challenge in the making here.
The Official MLA’12 Blog has a post about the Relevant Issues Section project for the Pioneer Square Clinic. The section invites MLA 2012 attendees to pack a little extra and bring along new socks and underwear, in all sizes, for both men and women. Extra toiletries from your hotel room may also be donated. A collection box will be set up in the registration area. Pioneer Square Clinic is in the Pioneer Square Neighborhood, serves over 1,000 homeless and low-income patients each month and has been doing so since 1971.
So just before you leave make sure you hit the store so you help others out. Also if you bring your toiletries from the hotel each morning, housekeeping will replace them each day and you can bring more.
Yes we all attend MLA to learn and connect with colleagues, nobody doubts that. But we also have a lot of fun. A lot of the fun happens at the bar or the after meeting parties. A few years ago (and after a few beers) a few people determined that they were actually kind of an unofficial Special Interest Group within MLA. Their meetings just happened at bars not in hotel meeting rooms at 7:00AM, thus they dubbed themselves members of the unofficial Drinking SIG,
To have fun with the idea and to get into the spirit of the meeting theme, there is now a Drinking SIG jersey for Seattle. It is completely unofficial, unsanctioned and not a real MLA SIG. (Really, if it were do you think a $20 membership fee would cover the SIG’s expenses?) But even though the SIG is unofficial the proceeds of the sales are going directly to the MLA Scholarship Fund.
So if you find that you are often meeting your MLA colleagues over drinks after the meeting you might be a member of the unofficial, unsactioned Drinking SIG and not even know it. So, why not embrace it and help the Scholarship Fund by buying a jersey.
This baseball jersey and other items are available at http://www.cafepress.com/drinkingsig
Just like that microbeer you order at the bar, the nerdy chic QR code expresses your social personality in a subtle yet fun way. The QR code sends you to a web page that says, “The unsanctioned #drinkingsig takes on Seattle! Engage, Learn, Enjoy, Cheers.”
Cracked.com has a fun post, “8 Unexpected Downsides of the Switch to E-Books.” Instead of looking at the “boring” issues that happen as ebook sales overtake regular book sales, Christina H decided to “find some e-book ramifications that would appeal to the type of people who spend more time preparing for a zombie apocalypse than like, unemployment, or retirement, or something. You know, realists.”
In the interest of Friday Fun, I thought I would expand on her list of what we will miss out on when all of our books go electronic.
9. You can’t secretly read a comic book inside the cover of your history book.
Kind of a messy way to pretend to be reading something else. The old way was much better.
10. Kindles and other e-readers just aren’t thick enough or easily stacked to be effective when you have to keep a chair or table from tipping.
Oh yeah you can try a matchbook or folded paper, but for the truly shortened leg you need a book. Or if you are an engineer like my dad and need to put stripe wall paper up in a stairway with a vaulted ceiling, you can use a combination of books, old bricks, a son-in-law, and a rickety old ladder precariously placed on the steps to help you reach the ceiling to wall joint. (Unfortunately, I have no pictures of that engineering marvel but witnesses can attest to the use of books.)
(Oh look an little engineer in training, my dad would be so proud.)
11. You absolutely cannot use a Kindle as an ad hoc booster seat, you need a good thick book for that. Back before booster seats were en vogue, my mother, the nurse, made us each sit on a telephone book when we sat in the back seat of the car so that the seat belt went across our hip bones instead of our tummies. My mom was a visionary, in 1970 she created the booster seat. Of course now we have real safety booster seats, but the big thick book is still needed to give a boost to ones bottom.
Do you have any other suggestions on just what we will be losing when the world goes all e-book? Let me know?
This morning I saw a tweet from OhioLink about landscapes carved from stacks of old books. So I clicked on the link and saw some extremely creative and beautiful works of art by Guy Laramee. To say that Laramee got some old books and carved them to look like landscapes is an understatement. Do you remember the library phantom who left works of art made from books as gifts in various libraries and museums? Laramee is just as creative and talented.
This is my favorite.
One of Guy Laramee’s book carvings from the project Biblios.
The MARquee posted a link the most intriguing medical facts of 2011 as collected from the pages of the American Medical News and I thought I would pass it along as it is perfect for a little Friday Fun.
The list is pretty long, here are just some that I found to be the most interesting. Go to the website for the complete list, the links within the list go to the full story.
- Nearly half of health organizations do nothing to protect data on mobile devices.
- 63% of doctors say they have changed an initial diagnosis based on new information found online.
- A third of U.S. physicians have received Facebook friend requests from patients; 75% of them declined.
- More adults visit doctors each year for adverse drug events than for pneumonia or strep throat.
- Health insurance claims filed electronically have a lower denial rate than paper claims.
- More than half of U.S. physicians now use an EMR system.
Flavorwire wrote a post listing the 25 Most Beautiful College Libraries of the World. The list was originally posted on December 13th and I found it on the 20th, but I had to hold it post it on this Friday’s Fun Post because the bookmas tree post clearly trumped beautiful college libraries on the Friday before Christmas.
Unfortunately, I have only been to one of the 25 libraries listed, The Long Room at Trinity College Library in Dublin Ireland. I don’t think Flavorwire’s picture of the Long Room is all that great, so here is a better one I found. Of course the picture doesn’t compare to being there.
Not many libraries are so cool that they “become one with the Force.”
While I understand Flavorwire’s need to limit the list to just academic libraries, but there are a lot of other beautiful libraries out there.
One of my favorite libraries is the Cerritos Public Library. Below is a picture of the children’s section taken by Adam Tow.
The place is phenomenal visually. Take a look at more of the library from other pictures around the library on the Cerritos Public Library Interior Photos.
What are some cool/beautiful libraries that you have seen?
Last year I posted about Texas Medical Center Library’s Bookmas Tree and their “How To” guide to create your very own bookmas tree. This year I found a whole slew of bookmas trees in all sizes and styles.
Here are two examples, browse the 12 styles of bookmas trees at The Mary Sue.
Have a wonderful weekend and a Merry Christmas.
A friend of mine posted the link to this story and I thought it would be perfect for a little Friday Fun.
Edinburgh, Scotland has a library phantom sculptor who has been leaving beautiful paper sculptures made from books in libraries and museums in the area.
NPR first reported on the library phantom sculptor in late October describing how librarian, Julie Johnstone, found a sculpture of a tree made of twisted paper on a book with a broken gold leafed eggshell filled with strips of paper from the poem, “A Trace of Wings.”
It didn’t end with the tree. The sculptures kept coming. A coffin, topped by a large gramophone showed up suddenly at The National Library of Scotland. A local art film theater found a book carved with warriors leaping off a movie screen into the audience. Then came a little dragon peeking out of an egg at The Scottish Storytelling Centre. The gifts kept coming, and it became quite a mystery as to who the very talented person could be. BBC, Scotland TV, and The Guardian all reported on the story. Who was this mysterious person?
Well it seems we will never know because even though there are a few suspects (a former music librarian thought he recognized the style from a paper sculpture he bought from an artist) it seems the public wants to keep the mystery alive and doesn’t want to know the artist’s identity. The mystery artist remains a mystery and sadly as the latest NPR story says, the gifts have come to an end this November.
Let me just tell the mystery artist, if she is ever in the United States, I am sure there are quite a few libraries that would love to get such a beautiful and unique gift. Why not make the mystery international?!