Thursday, December 23, 2010


The Google Labs N-gram Viewer is the first tool of its kind, capable of precisely and rapidly quantifying cultural trends based on massive quantities of data. It is a gateway to culturomics! The browser is designed to enable you to examine the frequency of words (banana) or phrases ('United States of America') in books over time. You'll be searching through over 5.2 million books: ~4% of all books ever published! (see users guide)

An outstanding Christmas decoration!

A truly outstanding Christmas decoration! And testimony by the anonymous prankster about the response to his lifesize yuletide ornament (read it at Traveling Librarian) inspires faith in the goodness of mankind! (I posted this in 2009 also, but the best decorations come out every year)

"A brand is like a sack on a sleigh of belief"

The Santa Brand Book elucidates the science of branding. Very clever.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The future of reading on the ipad

A while back, when vooks were introduced (what an outdated concept!),  I was expressing doubts about how boring old text would survive when competing with multimedia on the same reading/viewing/listening device. David Eagleman's "Why the Net Matters" is a boo... a package of information produced exclusively as an iPad app. He demonstrates it here (of course, the demonstration itself could just as well have been part of the iPad package...), and it really makes me to wonder - again - what value text adds when audio, video and text converge in the same medium. (and here is another demo without narration)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The future of the universities

Stefan Collini's review in the London Review of Books about tuition fees and the Report of the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance raises questions about market-driven education that should also be asked about market-driven libraries.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words

What a wonderful thing the Internet is - was about to describe an earwig to a non-English speaker when I happily stumbled upon this picture

Irrational Exuberance

In LRB, a cool assessment of USG's public diplomacy 2.0 and its "irrational exuberance" about social media.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Go team

David Gewanter in the Times Higher Education supplement writes about U.S. football teams sporting their very own universities.