Archive for creativity

a rush and a push and the land is ours (to drive a bookmobile)

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , on October 25, 2017 by phanteana

the bookmobile is both loved and ridiculed. it brings the joys of reading to people who may not otherwise have access to a library, but it also is prone to parodies. regardless of opinion, it is an invention that has helped libraries gain wider appeal.

while bookmobiles are more commonly associated with suburban and rural areas where libraries are either few and far between, major urban areas are also embracing them. one such city is Los Angeles and if you’re familiar with the layout of L.A., then you know commuting relies heavily on driving…sure, you can get around on the bus or rail (or by bike) but the trips will take far longer (and the L.A. highways are notorious for their congestion, frequently dubbed “Carmageddon“). so why spend 45 minutes driving to a bookstore, when the books can come to you? that’s the idea behind Twenty Stories, an independent bookmobile operating out of a 1987 Chevy van. the founders are a millennial couple from New York who relocated to L.A. last year in search of a literary community. while both cities have a rich amount of writers and bookstores, New York is the polar opposite of Los Angeles when it comes to getting around: despite a round-the-clock public transit system (good), it’s unfortunately prone to overcrowding and intense delays (bad)…so while getting around without a car may be easier, it isn’t always faster. so perhaps Twenty Stories might consider expanding its services in the future, especially since the creators once dwelt in The City That Never Has A Train Running On Time.

 

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Alexa, who you gonna code?

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , on October 3, 2017 by phanteana

do you or someone you know own an Alexa? for anyone who might be living under a rock, it’s that wonderful invention that tells you what the weather is or how many calories are in a chicken wing. there have even been cases of individuals getting creative with their Alexas, such as this guy and also this Hamlet-inspired contraption. now…what if you could design your own voice app to interact with Alexa? well, you can thanks to Codecademy, who have partnered with Amazon to teach new and experienced coders how to build their own Alexa skills. Codecademy is already known for its free training in languages such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby but also offers instructions on how to Make A Website and how to incorporate Responsive Design into said website. not only is the course free, but you don’t have to actually own an Alexa to participate. so go ahead, build you own voice app and ask Alexa all the crazy questions you want!

clowning around

Posted in Film, Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2017 by phanteana

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the scariest thing about our IT department is when you really need assistance, but their out-of-office notification is turned on!

 

(as for the movie, the reviews are pretty darn good so far)

 

long live the King

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2017 by phanteana

it seems 2017 is indeed the Year of Stephen King. with less than a week to go before The Dark Tower welcomes its visitors, the excitement (as well as the anxiety) is building up. i haven’t been THIS excited about a movie since, well…since the last time i took a trip to Middle-Earth. considering summer movie season is typically comprised of sequels and reboots, this is an anomaly all its own as an original piece of work with an unusually short run-time for Roland and Walter‘s epic showdown. obviously, there are plenty of people who are unfamiliar with King’s saga, so in order to prep them for it Rolling Stone has offered a listing of its backstory and what to expect (without revealing too much, of course).

Tower isn’t the only Stephen King adaptation making an appearance this year. The Mist is now a TV series, and coulrophobia will be on the rise once again when IT comes back to terrorize everyone who repressed nightmares of the 1990 mini-series. if y’all intend to see the latter, keep an eye out for an homage to Tim Curry…and maybe sleep with the lights on for awhile.

Send(ak) in the clowns

Posted in Art & Photography, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2017 by phanteana

there are plenty of authors, actors, musicians, etc. who have passed on yet they still manage to crank out bodies of work long after they’ve physically departed this world. JRRT released a best-selling book this year, despite the fact that he set sail for the Grey Havens in 1973. the more recently-deceased Maurice Sendak will also be publishing a new illustrated book set for next year…although, it’s not entirely new. it was actually conceived in 1990, but the manuscript was set aside and discovered when the author’s former assistant was sorting through Sendak’s papers following his death in 2012.

throughout his career, Maurice Sendak was no stranger to the infamous Banned Books List. several of his stories were deemed too disturbing for his target audience, but that didn’t seem to put a dent in his reputation. only time will tell if the new one, titled Presto & Zesto In Limboland, will be among those controversial classics.

digging the claws into R

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , on April 18, 2017 by phanteana

several months ago, i blogged about JavaScript for cats…because the language is so common even cats can learn it. when they step all over the keyboard, the output onto the screen could easily be mistaken for a JS file. i’m still not crazy about JS, but i feel like it’s gotten easier with practice. jQuery is a lot less intimidating.

but JavaScript isn’t the only programming languages that appeals to our feline friends. there’s also R for cats. R is used for statistical computing. it’s a language i haven’t gotten around to learning yet (i’ve become quite attached to Ruby these days). but if Garfield can learn R, then so can i…eventually.

 

 

 

 

NBD…it’s National Bookmobile Day!

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2017 by phanteana

spring has sprung, and with it comes one of the best times of the year. no, not Tax Day (unless, of course you actually enjoy filing those)…National Library Week! today in particular, however is a special day: National Bookmobile Day. on this day, we celebrate libraries-on-wheels and the library professionals who provide these on-the-go services to their communities. these are especially crucial to areas where libraries are sparse or non-existent. so if you love your Bookmobile, let it be known!