Thursday, October 28, 2010

Midterm election search trends

Google introduces Place Search

From the Google blog: Place Search is rolling out now and will be available globally in more than 40 languages in the next few days. During the roll-out process you can use this special link to preview the new results. Our goal is to help you feel like a local everywhere you go!


Latest! Knowbodies has been flattered by a visit from the author himself, Jonathon Green. He comments:

My thanks for the mention of GDoS. Might I, as author, make two small amendments: the book is actually published by Chambers in the UK. OUP / US are distributing it in N. America.
Perhaps more important is the fact that my book deals not merely 'English' English slang, but the entire range of 500 years of anglophone slangs, including US / UK / Eire / Australia / New Zealand / Caribbean / S. Africa.

Congratulations to Jonathon Green - I wish the book every success, and hope it gets reviewed by Nicholson Baker!

J.E. Lighter's ambitious Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang foundered after 2 volumes, and was taken over by Oxford University Press in 2003 which intended to publish 2 final volumes.  We're still waiting for those.  Next month Oxford will release Jonathon Green's three-volume Green's Dictionary of Slang (English slang, that is), which by the looks of it is a worthy successor to Eric Partridge. There's a  review here that has some interesting tidbits, including the claim that there is no agreed etymology of the word "slang" itself. (I wonder if it is related to the Norwegian word "slang", which derives from English seaman's usage for "to fool or cheat", and in common parlance means filching fruit from gardens, as in "epleslang" ie. snitching apples)  I do hope this major new publication doesn't mean Oxford has given up on  completing the American dictionary...I will ask, and share the response with my myriad readers here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too much stuff

Like many librarians, I'm an incorrigible collector, and have to get rid of  things from time to time. I'm currently taking bids on my good as new bucket-wheel excavator.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Strange Maps blog

The post Great European Shouting Match at Frank Jacob's Strange Maps blog features maps from Yanko Tsvetkov's Mapping Stereotypes project, and ties them together with an interesting narrative. (Strange Maps is one of many interesting things at Big Think - Lea Carpenter's literature blog Think, See, Feel is another)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


That cool bit of technology I mentioned in my post about the New Yorker below is called "Tynt", and I've now implemented it on this site. Cut some text from Knowbodies and paste it somewhere else, and you'll see how it works. Neat!

On dithering and doing

Is there something you should be doing? Then I suggest you read JamesSurowiecki's fascinating article about procrastination,  Later....right now.  Many nuggets of wisdom about you and me like "we often procrastinate not by doing fun tasks but by doing jobs whose only allure is that they aren’t what we should be doing"
Incidentally, the New Yorker seems to have implemented a cool bit of technology I hadn't seen before that automatically adds a "Read more at: [URL]" to any snippet of text that you copy and paste from it, like this:
Some years ago, the economist George Akerlof found himself faced with a simple task: mailing a box of clothes from India, where he was living, to the United States.

Read more

Friday, October 8, 2010

Where great ideas come from

Very cool video from Steven Johnson...and for a change, very nicely narrated (narration on so many of these instructive videos is unbearable to listen to!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia

  • How to edit Wikipedia: a concise guide explaining to scientists how (and why) to publish accurate information via Wikipedia, and  a useful crib-sheet for any Wikipedia author.