Blog Archives

29 January 2007

Stuff to read, stuff to watch.

Inc. magazine interviews Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. It's easy to imagine that the brothers were asked why librarians suck at marketing:

The great cruelty is that the smarter you get about something, the harder it is to share what you know. This is the problem we all have with doctors, lawyers, and accountants. We all know that they know what they're talking about. But we've all had the experience of sitting in a lawyer's office and not understanding what they're saying because they're forgetting that you don't know what they know. It's the same with a 10-year-old trying to show you how to play a video game. The child can't fathom the scope of your ignorance.
Speaking of sucky library marketing, last night's episode of "The Simpsons" (Check out the library motif for their episode guide!) had a dead-on parody of lame-o celebrity "reading is good" posters. In the school library, there was a life-sized cutout of a smiling Hitler saying something like: "Before I became a Nazi leader, I was a Nazi reader."

Speaking of school libraries on TV, the episode of Nickelodeon's "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" we saw over the weekend featured comedy goddess Judy Tenuta as a loud, accordian-playing school librarian who ends up totally disregarding patron privacy. They have a very visual online catalog at that school. Looks like the ep might be re-run tonight.

25 January 2007

Brokeback Library video on YouTube.

How did we not see this before now? Forget about the tired "Brokeback Mountain" reference ... it's one of the most marvelous library-themed vids we've seen on YouTube yet. Maybe because it's machinima. About lesbians. With guns.

We are so happy now.

Hey ... Libraries should show this at their gaming events!

21 January 2007

Get a First Life!

If you're a Second Life hater (or questioner, or ignorer), you might enjoy this one-page parody of the SL homepage. We sure do.

First Life is a 3D analog world where server lag does not exist.
The creator's blog post and the ensuing comments are also worth a look.

06 January 2007

Gameplay gets left behind.

If your library has computer games (or does gaming events), and you're in one of those places where people complain about the Harry Potter books promoting real-live witchcraft, you might want to keep this LA Weekly review of the Left Behind: Eternal Forces game handy. You'll want to quote from it if someone accuses your library of a pinko-liberal-atheist bias because you don't have the kiddies playing this one:

For some reason, Left Behind’s programmers built a crappy game that nevertheless demands a state-of-the-art PC ... The plodding missions through tightly circumscribed Manhattan are numbingly repetitive. The commands are clunky. The graphics are dated.
All real-time-strategy games are about harvesting resources, and I was hoping for a little thrill in the harvesting of souls, but after a couple hours of learning how to train builders to erect cafés and dodge street musicians, I got bored and gave up. I never even saw a Horned Demon (Level 5 evil spirit; special ability: fireball), or any of the holy war that is supposed to be the whole point for supporters and critics alike.
I should have guessed Left Behind would be disappointing when I read that you could play, but never win, as the Antichrist. Doesn’t that undermine the whole power of temptation?
Sounds like reading the review is more fun than playing LB:EF. The "Grade: F" review over at Game Revolution is also entertaining. We find it hard to imagine that the game could be worse than the Kirk Cameron movie, though. (On second thought, the movie is so bad, that it's kinda fun to watch ... just to see exactly how bad it's going to get.)

Evangelical Christian kids who got this game as a holiday gift are probably as disappointed as those who got the Armor of God Pajamas and discovered that there's no sword of the Spirit in the package.

03 January 2007

"Not everything should be interactive."

We did not email Joel Stein to tell him what we thought of his LA Times column from yesterday:

Here's what my Internet-fearing editors have failed to understand: I don't want to talk to you; I want to talk at you. A column is not my attempt to engage in a conversation with you. I have more than enough people to converse with. And I don't listen to them either.
So I'm going to establish a new etiquette. I'm asking my editors to build a page on where, instead of e-mailing me, you can write about how arrogant I am. And maybe on this site, one brave person will write about how I'm right to stand up against this world of false, easy community, where columnists pretend they think their essays are no more valuable than yours, and friendship is a stranger who thanks you for the MySpace add.

Dancin' in the library.

The music video for "Every Time We Touch", by Cascada, has been hittin' the library blogs this week. If you haven't seen it, you really, really need to take a look. (Oh, read the comments posted by YouTubers, too.)

A few observations and questions about this video, after watching it way too many times:

  • Good thing they showed signs that say "Library" and "Librarian". Otherwise, how would we know?
  • The video completely avoids the issue of OPAC suckage by featuring a card catalog. No rods in the drawers, though? The cards she pulls out and tosses in the air don't appear to have holes. It's a wonder that sort of thing doesn't happen more often there.
  • Since the cute, break-dancing boybrarian is hand-in-hand with Cascada at the end of the video, we guess we're supposed to think he's not gay. So how comes he tries to get an attractive woman in a short skirt to stop dancing on top of the shelving?
  • The librarian is the least librarian-looking of all the men in the video. The janitor bears the closest resemblance to male librarians we know.
  • It's probably hard to read with all those strobe lights flashing. Or maybe the building has severe electrical problems.
  • How much did West pay for product placement? Many reporter volumes have obviously been mis-shelved.
  • First viewing, we coulda sworn she sings: "Your arms are my casserole." We were mistaken.
  • We'd like to see a mashup of this video and the Cleveland masturbator news clip. And librarians playing DDR.

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