Thursday, May 27, 2010

Got a few minutes for Enrichment or Entertainment?

We have been attending some leadership webinars, and while rummaging through the associated reading, I was twice directed to my new fave site. This definitely gets saved in my delicious, and you may find it intriguing as well!

The site is, and their mission is spreading ideas. This is what they say about themselves:

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

They provide 'talks', which may be truly talks, but also may be recitals (Jennifer Lin piano improv), demos (don't miss Photosynth by Blaise Aguera y Arcas), eat to starve cancer, school lunches--around 700 presentations, so far!

Nothing on television? Got a few minutes in the grocery line? Visit my new buddy, TED! (NOT while driving, folks! I saw a 3-car wreck just this morning on the way to work.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yesterday was YouTube's 5th birthday! And in that short timeframe, YouTube has built up a following of two BILLION views a day. You can visit to read that story. One point taken from the popularity of YouTube, is that we are increasingly interested in VIEWING. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, what is a video worth?

I found this most wonderful site of documentaries, BBC World Service. Who knew that the respected BBC maintained an archive of documentaries! The subjects range from the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane, to an appraisal of Thomas Jefferson, to the anatomy of a car crash, police atrocities, Bernie Madoff, Beatles in the USSR, the financial crash, GW Bush, a child sold into prostitution at age 9, and on and on. Go to YouTube for fun, and go to BBC for information.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

How bad is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? How many species of animals, fish and fowl will be affected from the oil that is spewing into the waters of the Gulf?

Original estimates stated that the equivalent of 5,000 barrels of oil a day was leaking into the oceanic ecosystem. But, Larry Schweifer, president of the National Wildlife Federation, posited that this will be the worst ecological disaster in U. S. history. The difference between the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska is that it was a finite amount of oil not a gushing, seemingly endless tap of crude oil. It is sweet, light crude oil that will damage the plants and animals of the Gulf's ecosystem.

Many species will be affected and the oil will not only damage the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The oil will also damage the wetlands, and could work it's way into the Florida Keys and out into the Atlantic up the Eastern sea coast. Sea turtles, whales, dolphins, sea bird, and mussels, crab, oysters, and shrimp will be killed from the oil itself or the after effects of the oil. The after effects would be death to birds and larger fish that eat contaminated fish.

We won't know the effects of this disaster for many years, but this day, at this time it is threatening the livelihood of workers who work in the fishing industry and damaging fragile ecosystems. Are we doing everything possible to solve the problem? What else can we do?

Information was obtained from the following websites:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The 1962/63 School Year at Tarleton!

Why do you suppose that the 1963 Grassburr had a gold embossed Tarleton class ring on the cover? Well, the class of 1963 was the first Tarleton graduating class in 55 years! It was the first class to graduate after Tarleton became a four year school! So it was only fitting that the 1963 Grassburr was dedicated to them, and portrayed the class ring worn by them, the first four year graduating class! Not only that....the May 26, 1963 Tarleton graduation ceremony was held in front of the library!

Many dignitaries were on hand for the graduation ceremony, but perhaps the two most special guests were Mr. William Bowman and Mr. William Bryant, who both received degrees from Tarleton as members of the first graduating class in 1903! Rodney Davis was the first student to be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army!

The 1962/63 school year had the largest enrollment in history with over 1,456 students! Several things took place that year - The traditional bonfire was not built by the corps, as in previous years, but by the students in general under the direction of the Student Council. A few months earlier, in May 1962, the Student Activities Committee approved the wearing of Bermuda shorts to the evening meal in the dining hall, and the weekly dance changed from Monday to Thursday night! On January 15, 1963 the Wainwright Rifles marched in the governor's inaugural parade. Civic Series entertainment for the 1962/63 school year included the Smother's Brothers, flamenco music by Carlos Montoya, and Brown & Dana folk singers! At the beginning of the spring semester the girls moved into their modern new dorm, Hunewell Hall! In March the groundbreaking for the new student center occurred and construction began - and with it the Hunewell Bandstand came tumbling down!

One can definitely say that the 1962/63 school year was one of change and progress! As the May 14, 1963 J-TAC stated "Goodbye and good luck to the seniors. To the other students - hope to see you next year!"

Grassburr, 1963.
J-TAC April 9, 1963.
J-TAC April 30, 1963.
J-TAC May 14, 1963.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saving Images for the Web

Spring and summer are excellent times for taking pictures:
  • graduations,
  • Mother's Day & Father's Day,
  • vacations and family outings,
  • weddings, parties, picnics, concerts, and
  • the list keeps going.
Once the pictures are taken, most of us want to share them, and we usually want to do so on the web. That's where the article "The Comprehensive Guide to Saving Images for the Web" by Joshua Johnson of Six Revisions can come in handy.

In the article, Johnson explains features of Photoshop's “Save for Web & Devices” command and offers best practices tips for "saving images that are optimized for web use." Topics covered include
  • Before the Save
  • Entering the Save for Web Dialog
  • Image Size
  • Resampling Quality
  • File Type and Image Quality
  • File Type Options
  • Working with GIFs, JPGs & PNGs
  • View Modes
  • Working with Slices
  • Outputting HTML
His explanations are understandable and address novice and expert users' needs. Check it out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Choose Privacy Week, May 2-8 2010

May 2-8 is the first ever Choose Privacy Week, sponsored by the American Library Association. ALA describes Choose Privacy Week as a "new initiative...about privacy rights in a digital age", where libraries can "give citizens the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy." 1

Although online services such as Google and Facebook are undeniably convenient, they come with privacy concerns. For example, ALA states that "online searches create traceable records that make [users] vulnerable to questioning by the FBI, or that government agencies can track their phone calls, airline travel, online purchases, and more."2

Facebook, for example, has been under fire recently for its privacy changes (Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, stated in January that "privacy is no longer a social norm."3) In December of 2009, Facebook default settings were changed to public. In April 2010, Facebook made information "such as a user's hometown, education, work, activities, likes and interests public, whereas previously such information could be hidden."4 And on May 5, Facebook suffered a major privacy glitch when private chats between members could be viewed publicly.

1The American Library Association. "Choose Privacy Week." Accessed May 6, 2010.


3 Johnson, Bobby. The Guardian. "Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder." January 11, 1010. Accessed May 6, 2010.

4Brodkin, Jon. Networked World. "Consumer groups hammer Facebook privacy violations in federal complaint." May 6, 2010. Accessed May 6, 2010.Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Sewing Class 1919/1920

Do you suppose that the Tarleton sewing class in 1919/1920 made their uniforms? The Tarleton girls' blue chambray uniform, that the coeds are wearing in the photo above, became official the fall of 1918 when Tarleton became a state institution. It wasn't so long ago when girls and women made most of their own clothes!

The blue chambray uniform was made of Parkhill's Imperial Chambray #7588 using pattern #1133. Over the years slight variations were used, including Home Journal #1925, McCall's #4017, 3475, and 8660, Butterick's #2460, and Simplicity's #3688 and 4906 patterns. Tarleton girls were required to wear the blue chambray uniform until the 1945/46 school year.

The May 6, 1926 J-TAC stated that the girls "bucked" and that the uniforms hurt their vanity and wounded their pride, but Mrs. Chamberlin was firm. It was a little better the next year because there was a slight variation in the pattern. By 1926, when the J-TAC article was written, if the chambray was faded and worn it was proof that they had been worn faithfully! And, after all, the chambrays were rather "cute"! It stated that perhaps in seven more years the co-eds would learn to love cotton hose, narrow black belts, and low heeled slippers! Who knows! Miracles never cease!

Throughout the years of the girls' uniforms, poems were often written about the blue chambray! This one was in the May 6, 1926 J-TAC:

We all know well the Tarleton girls,
Whose smile is friendly, sweet, and true.
They fill their place, and fill it well,
These Tarleton girls, in chambray blue.

Good cheer then, to the Tarleton girls.
May life keep up their spirits gay,
May the wishes of these young, girl hearts
Be realized in a future day.

Come one and all, blue chambray girls,
Let's give a cheer for the Tarleton fame,
And now remember the loyal word
To uphold Tarleton's honored name.

Yea Tarleton!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

University Facebooks pages

How many friends or fans does a college have on Facebook? No one likes a Facebook loner. Some perspective: Lady Gaga has a following of 6.6 million. Beer pong is liked by 950,350. Harvard, the birthplace of Facebook, has 33,986 fans. (So, Rice the university shouldn't feel bad that it's less popular than rice the food.) So, here's the list with counts as of Friday night. Only official university pages and groups count -- no alumni, class of whatever, athletic, club or other groups.

A&M currently #1
UT - #1

Cinco de Mayo

Mexico vs. France. In 1861, France invaded Mexico because Benito Juarez stopped making interest payments to those countries that Mexico owed money to. France was planning on taking over Mexico, and, at first, they were successful, but, on May 5, 1862, Mexican forces were able to defeat the French army in the city of Puebla. This defeat is what is celebrated each year because the Mexican army was considerably outnumbered by a very well-equipped French army that had not been defeated in 50 years. The Battle of Puebla only delayed France at the time though. They soon advanced on Mexico City, and a year later occupied Mexico and placed Emperor Maximilian I on the throne. In 1866-67, the French withdrew from Mexico due to pressure from the United States. Maximilian was deposed by President Benito Juarez and executed. Since this battle, no other country has invaded the Americas.

For more information, visit Wikipedia.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WWF's Top 10 Endangered Species to Watch in 2010

The UN has delcared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. During this year the goal is for organizations, companies, and individuals to encourage everyone to take action to encourage conservation efforts and promote the value of biodiversity. In honor of that effort, here are the WWF's Top 10 Endangered Species to Watch in 2010.
  1. Tigers

  2. Polar Bears

  3. Pacific Walrus

  4. Magellanic Penguin

  5. Leatherback Turtle

  6. Bluefin Tuna

  7. Mountain Gorilla

  8. Monarch Butterfly

  9. Javan Rhinoceros

  10. Giant Panda

Monday, May 3, 2010

Formatting your Works Cited list the easy way

It seems like everyone's working on a paper at the library right now. If you've got one you're working on, too, you might need to include some kind of Works Cited section. When formatting your Works Cited section, don't fiddle around with tab indents and rulers - you're making it harder on yourself than you have to!

(The instructions below assume you're using MS Word 2007, available on library computers, but you can probably carry some of this over to other versions of Word and similar programs.)

Let's say you've got a Works Cited page with a few entries, like the one above (yes, I made those entries up). You'd like every line after the first line of an entry to be indented, but you're not sure how to do it without messing up the formatting on the rest of your document (assuming that this is part of a larger paper), or you have no idea how to begin formatting this at all. Take a look at the next image:

I centered "Works Cited" and then highlighted the entries. I right-clicked on the highlighted entries and chose "Paragraph" from the menu that popped up.

Under "Indentation," I clicked the "Special" drop down menu and chose "Hanging." This adds hanging indents to the entries I highlighted, making my Works Cited document look like the picture below. Now, if I wanted, I could add more entries, which would all automatically be perfectly indented, or I could edit the ones already there (maybe italicize my journal title?).