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Librarian Blog

What was he thinking?

About the time one set of front-counter volunteers was leaving for the day and another set was arriving, one of those coming in for the afternoon wondered about two small dogs locked inside a maroon Ford sedan parked in our lot behind the library.
The windows were rolled up tight. The dogs were small. They were barking.
We sought out the thoughtless owner throughout the library. Nobody admitted ownership of the car or dogs.
So, three or four of us headed back outside to see how the dogs were doing.
About that time, a guy came sauntering up the hill north of our lot that lies between the library and H-E-B. He had a bag of groceries and a countenance hidden behind big sunglasses.
As he angled toward the car, we all four confronted him. What was he thinking? Why would he leave his dogs in a hot car? Didn't he know he could kill them?
He shrugged it all off, got in his car and drove away.
And the thought occurred to all of us: He parked in our lot, not in H-E-B's lot, because he knew all too well what he was doing and figured that the foot traffic going past his car would be minimal in our lot and maximal in the H-E-B lot.
Warning: Next time we won't go looking for the onwer. We'll let the sheriff do that.

And the winner ...

If someone wanted to bet on which language would dominate the future of the world, would you bet on English?
You should.
Turns out that most other languages are losers when it comes to the Internet and mobile, games, etc. Everything digital is English or English-like. For example, even in Arab countries people are texting using English languags symbols for Arabic.
That's according to research reported today at Pricenomics, a data-driven website that I recommend you bookmark.
Here's the detail:
A full 96% of the world’s 6,000+ languages appear to be dead when it comes to use on cell phones, laptops, and tablets, meaning that the Internet could be to languages what a certain comet was to the dinosaurs.

Back to the future?

I guess you had to be there I mean in ancient Rome That would be ancient Rome in the days of Caesar and Claudius and the gladiators That would be back when the writers of Latin did not use the full-stop period As you can tell having punctuation is a benefit That's especially true of the period
Ah, the lowly period. Period.
Turns out that particularly useful little literary device is AWOL. It's kaput. It's history. It's outthere.
That's according to a front page story in today's The New York Times by Dan Bilefsky.
Bilefsky says texting and other electronic forms of communication are killing the need for the period.
I say, Perhaps. Perhaps Not.
You may not need a period to send a quick note complete with emojis to your girlfriend about tonight's movie, but are we really going to try to read, well, front-page newspaper articles that have no periods?
Sounds like a fun story hyped to the max by a smart reporter trying to get on 1A for the purpose of building his portfolio.
The past (i.e., Latin) really isn't our future.

Lessons in 3 dimensions

We had two full-house classes here Saturday on how to design with and use a 3D printer, a very successful kick-off to a summer of learning opportunities for young people.
In fact, we're still printing off the projects our learners built during the classes.
This next Saturday, we will be teaching participants how to design and write and produce stop-motion animated movies.
No, these won't be two-hour productions, just snippets to help the learners pick up on the language and art of stop-motion movie-making.
Come by today and sign up!

Un-wacky numbers

The library kicked off the summer youth programs with a Wacky Wednesday for the record books last week.
By the time the dust settled, which took all morning, we had counted about 350 men, women and, mainly, children right here in the main room to watch Kazoo, the whateverheis, perform and then to eat cookies, have faces painted and ride horses.
That's a record number of kickoff participants -- by far.
So, our first reaction was, Wow!
Our second reaction was, How did that happen?
Actually, we don't seem to know.
For the most part, we publicized the kickoff event just as we have in years past.
Whatever: Something clicked. Something worked. And we're just happy as clams about it.
So, come join us every Wednesday during the summer. You sure won't be alone.
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