Sunday, June 29, 2008
The great robot race [videorecording]
Robotics : a reference guide to the new technology
Loving the machine : the art and science of Japanese robots
Robots : from science fiction to technological revolution
The singularity is near : when humans transcend biology
123 robotics experiments for the evil genius
God in the machine : what robots teach us about humanity and God
Digital people : from bionic humans to androids
Open-source robotics and process control cookbook [electronic resource] : designing and building robust, dependable real-time systems
Friday, June 27, 2008
“Everyone driving slower than you is an idiot, everyone driving faster than you is a maniac”.
George Carlin, Wit and Humor Quotationary
“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”
Mark Twain, Wit and Humor Quotationary
I would like to recommend some new titles in the APL collection about and by the comedians who help us to laugh at ourselves.
Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America
Seriously Funny: the Rebel comedians of the 1950s and 1960s
I Killed: True Stories of the Road from American's Top Comics
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin
Born Standing Up: a Comic's Life by Steve Martin
The Chris Farley Show: a Biography in Three Acts
It's Good to Be King; the Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Just a Guy: Notes from a Blue Collar Life by Bill Engvall
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Two years ago, media specialist Rüdiger Wischenbart, participated in a panel discussion titled “The Non-English Patient” at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In this presentation, Mr. Wischenbart talked about book translations from English to other languages and vice versa, and the numbers were troubling: 55% to 60% of translations into other languages have English originals, but only 3% to 5% are translated into English.
Koïchiro Matsuura, a Japanese diplomat promoting cultural diversity, uses an example to illustrate what happens with the translation of materials: 70 percent of all books translated into Serbian have English originals. This is troubling because it is important to have a balance in the materials that are available to the public. It is great that American writers can be read in other languages, and people around the world can learn from and enjoy their works, but the American public has limited access to translations from other wonderful authors worldwide.
Organizations and authors around the world are making efforts to change this trend and help writers from other languages get their works known to English speakers. Each November we have an exhibit of translated works at Faulk Central Library, but if you don't want to wait that long, visit us today and check out some books by great authors such as:
Arundhati Roy (India)
Viktor Pelevin (Russia)
Naomi Hirahara (Japan)
Kenzaburo Oe (Japan)
Gao Xinjian (China)
Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)
Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt)
Oriana Fallaci (Italy)
Jamal Mahjoub (Sudan)
Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba)
Gioconda Belli (Nicaragua)
Octavio Paz (Mexico)
among others, enjoy your reading!
Monday, June 23, 2008
The smell of vinyl, the artwork on the album cover and liner notes, the act of dropping the needle on the record, these are all reasons why the vinyl fan never abandoned the record. Even the hunt in search for that obscure album is exciting for fans of the LP. There are thousands of shops and websites to start, or continue, your search for that album. The iPod is great and has done great things for the music industry, but nothing can replace the warmth and fullness of the music you get from a record.
The Austin Public Library has a great collection of LPs, available at the Carver, Terrazas, and Central branches. When you do a search in the catalog make sure you select “Vinyl Record” as the material format. Just today I found a couple of great records, Greatest Dance Hits and Salt ‘
Friday, June 20, 2008
APL has other related titles available for check out as well as a new Finding Statistics Research Guide, which provides reliable resources.
Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists
More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues
Chance, Luck, and Statistics
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Austin Public Library’s zine collection is housed on the second floor of the Faulk Central Library. The zines are non-circulating items and are cataloged under the call number “zine.” Next time you are at the Faulk Central Library take a look. The creativity and diversity between each is incredible.
A quick tip of the hat to the Austin Public Library youth services division which offered a system-wide zine-making program last year.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Not too long ago libraries were undergoing a bit of an identity crisis. Many librarians were taking a look around and seeing how people were overwhelmingly drawn to large chain bookstores and not giving the local public library a second look. Library administrators set out to unravel the enigma of dwindling usage in favor of for profit venues. There was talk of how the local public library needed to conform to the model of the large chain bookstores by, among other things, serving coffee and pastries. Some changes were instituted. However, the characteristics distinguishing the local public library from a large, chain bookstore were never abandoned: highly specialized personal service, access to information and entertainment in a wide variety of formats, access to the internet, computers, and commonly used software, as well as classes to instruct interested individuals in their use. Ironically, it seems as though circumstances have come full circle. The launching of the new Borders’ concept store in
Library Journal Editorial:
Ask a Librarian:
Super Smash Bros Brawl Tournament @ APL Summer ’08:
Friday, June 13, 2008
Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. English, French and Portuguese speaking countries consider this a day of bad luck. Millions of people suffer from this fear and avoid travel, making business transactions, or even leaving the house on this day. Traffic incidents increase on Friday the 13th. Are you afraid of Friday the 13th? This year, we only have one, but next year there are three, the most occurrence in any one year!
But why do millions of people fear this day? There is no explanation other than superstition. Events in the past may offer small explanation, such as the 13 disciples at the last supper, leading to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which apparently happened on a Friday. The British H.M.S. Friday set sail on a Friday with Captain Friday at the helm, the ship was never seen again. Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday. A witches coven has 13. The Knights Templar catastrophe happened on a Friday the 13th. And of course, we know the story of the Apollo 13.
Be safe out there and don't fear the number, many bad things can happen on any day of the week. For instance, Mondays are my least favorite day.
13 : the story of the world's most popular superstition
by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer
The Encyclopedia of Superstitions
by Richard Webster
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The Devil’s Dictionary is the work of Ambrose Bierce, a journalist who, after running out of ideas, started writing comical or cynical definitions based on the entries of the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. He kept publishing these definitions as part of his columns in newspapers and magazines until he decided to compile them all in one book originally titled “Cynic's Word Book.” Throughout the years, Bierce added more and more definitions to this book and republished it in 1911 with the title “Devil’s Dictionary.”
But, let’s stop talking about this interesting book and let’s take a look at some of Bierce’s definitions that amazingly still feel very current:
Economy: purchasing the barrel of whisky that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.
Friendship: a ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
Future: that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
Gymnast: a man who puts his brains into his muscles.
Patience: A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
Tail: the part of an animal’s spine that has transcended its natural limitations to set up an independent existence in a world of its own.
Austin Public Library owns different editions of this dictionary and other works by Bierce that you can check out at any time:
Devil’s Dictionary. 1st Us edition
Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary
The Devil's advocate : an Ambrose Bierce reader
The collected writings of Ambrose Bierce
A sole survivor: bits of autobiography
You can also enjoy this book on line by clicking here
For more information on this interesting writer, you can visit the Ambrose Bierce Project.
Monday, June 09, 2008
When you click on the name of a database, you’ll be given a screen that asks you to type in your APL library card number. Once you do, you’ll be taken to the database you chose.
Most Popular Databases
Austin American-Statesman – Articles back to 1996.
eLibrary Curriculum Edition – Perfect for K-12 students.
Factiva - More than 14,000 sources from 159 countries in 22 languages.
MasterFILE Premier – More than 1,900 full-text magazines, incuding Consumer Reports
June’s Featured Database
Oxford Reference Online offers over 130 language and subject dictionaries.
Friday, June 06, 2008
John Locke (John Locke) – English philosopher, a founder of empiricism and political liberalism.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Danielle Rousseau) – French philosopher, writer, and political theorist, inspired the leaders of the French Revolution and the Romantic generation.
Mikhail Bakunin (Mikhail Bakunin) – chief propagator of 19th-century anarchism, a prominent Russian revolutionary agitator, and a prolific political writer.
Anthony Ashley Cooper (Anthony Cooper) – British moral philosopher and aesthetician. Instructed by his guardian John Locke in the classical languages.
Edmund Burke (Juliet Burke) – British man of letters and Whig politician. Burke wrote on the issues of political emancipation and moderation, notably with respect to Roman Catholics and the American colonies.
David Hume (Desmond Hume) – Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. He rejected the possibility of certainty in knowledge and claimed that all the data of reason stem from experience.
Michael Faraday (Daniel Faraday) – English physicist and chemist whose many experiments contributed greatly to the understanding of electromagnetism.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The following books are great introductions and guides to the variety of natural resources and activities throughout
If shelter and air conditioning is more your style, take a gander at some of the reader’s advisory services available through the Austin Public Library.
Recommended book lists compiled by APL librarians and others.
Adult Summer Reading Program
Compile a list of your summer reads and potentially win prizes.
APL Book Clubs
A wide array of selections at book clubs throughout the Austin Public Library.
Monday, June 02, 2008