Trurl and Klapaucius

Artificial Intelligence: it’s all over the place. Deep Blue beats Kasparov at chess, AlphaGo teaches itself to win at Go through an artificial neural network, a chatbot named Microsoft Little Ice has written Chinese poems published as Sunshine Misses Windows, and self-driving cars are driving—well, at least as well as some of us do!

AI has been around even longer in fiction, films, and other entertainments that feature computers, robots, and androids in various flavors of menace and delight:  R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), HAL 9000, Star Trek, Gort, Neuromancer, the Alien films, Deus ex Machina, R2D2 and C3PO, Bladerunner (née Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Magnus-Robot Fighter, Morning Becomes Electric, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Matrix trilogy—and does anyone remember Colossus: The Forbin Project?  Along with so many others.  If only they were all well-behaved enough to obey Isaac Asimov’s famous Three Laws given in I, Robot…but then, where would all our stories be if everything worked smoothly?

And about that AI-composed poetry.  Stanislaw Lem, the Polish science fiction master, is probably best known for his novel Solaris, which was made famous by the Tarkovsky film.  But he wrote many other works as well, one of them being a series of tales from the mid-1960s about two constructor robots named Trurl and Klapaucius, collected as The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age.  If for that special occasion, you’ve been looking for a unique love poem that’s ”…lyrical, pastoral, and expressed in the language of pure mathematics.  Tensor algebra mainly, with a little topology and higher calculus, if need be.  But with feeling, you understand, and in the cybernetic spirit….” then look no farther: you’ll find it among The Seven Sallies of Trurl and Kalpaucius in The First Sally (A), or Trurl’s Electronic Bard.  Frankly, it puts Microsoft Little Ice to shame.

While you can find information about Deep Blue, AlphaGo, Microsoft Little Ice, and plenty of other artificial intelligence accomplishments regularly flooding your electronic doorstep these days whether you want it there or not, you sometimes have to dig a little deeper for things like the sallies of Trurl and Klapaucius, all of which are worth reading and thinking about.  But you can find them if you go to the Library Catalog and type in Cyberiad — it will come up as an Alaska’s Digital Library ebook that you can check out. (Sorry – QuickSearch will bring up interesting articles about The Cyberiad, but not the Alaska’s Digital Library copy.)  Oh, and by the way—good luck with that tensor algebra!

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More Recent Books and eBooks

Continuing on from last month, I’ll highlight a few more recent titles we’ve gotten in.  First off – striking terror into the hearts of all who have been relying on the 16th edition – there’s a new edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, and we have a copy of it at the Reference Desk:

REF DESK Z253.U69 2017
Chicago Manual Of Style, 17th ed.

F1219.73.O94 2017
The Oxford Handbook Of The Aztecs – Nichols and Rodríguez-Alegría, eds.

GN635.N42 C66 2015
A Companion To The Anthropology Of The Middle East – Soraya Altorki, ed.

eBook
The Chessboard And The Web: Strategies Of Connection In A Networked World – Anne-Marie Slaughter
(This title concerns transitions from the borders of nations – the chess board – to the borderless maps of the global internet.)

eBook
Dethroning The Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways From Slavery To Obama – Jennifer Jensen Wallach, ed.
(The title comes from the writings of W.E.B. DuBois)

eBook
Bartolomeo Cristofori And The Invention Of The Piano – Stewart Pollens

eBook
Piano Duet Repertoire: Music Originally Written For One Piano, Four Hands, 2nd ed. – Cameron McGraw. Fisher & Fisher, eds.

ML410.S932 R5 2017
The Rite Of Spring At 100 – Neff, Carr, & Horlacher, eds.

ML457.C35 2012
Cambridge History Of Musical Performance – Lawson & Stowell, eds.

eBook
Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, 2nd ed. Rev. – Edward N. Luttwak

eBook
Rethinking The Black Freedom Movement – Yohuru Williams

D785.O937 2013
The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 – Richard Overy

eBook
Modern Genocide: The Definitive Resource And Document Collection, 4 vols. – Bartrop & Jacobs, eds.

eBook
The Last Superpower Summits: Gorbachev, Reagan, And Bush: Conversations That Ended The Cold War – Savranskaya & Blanton, eds.

eBook
The Ottoman Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2 vols. – Mehrdad Kia
(There are also ebooks for the Spanish and Persian empires.)

eBook
Pennsylvania Germans: An Interpretive Encyclopedia – Bronner & Brown, eds.

REF KBP144.K364 2017
Shariah Law: Questions And Answers – Mohammad Kamali

eBook
Routledge International Handbook Of Rural Criminology – Donnermeyer

eBook
Serving Those Who Served: Librarian’s Guide To Working With Veteran And Military Communities – LeMire & Mulvihill

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Recently Added Books and eBooks

What’s new?  Well, at least what’s new in Reference, the Social Sciences, Music, and History, which are my primary areas for selection.  Since many of these titles (particularly the ebooks!) don’t make an initial stop on our New Books display near the Main Circulation Desk, it’s always nice to see a representative sampling of what’s currently available.

It’s arranged in rough call number order after the first several titles: the books are easy to arrange, but since ebooks don’t come with call numbers, I’ve arranged them by best guess.  I’ve added an occasional annotation as well.

(While I give call numbers for the books and you can usually use QuickSearch on our home page to find the ebooks these days, often the best way to find ebooks is to click on the ‘Ebooks’ link beneath the QuickSearch box and copy the title into the second search box.)

These first two titles sound a little like treatises on Druidic mysticism, but they actually feature a great variety of highly visual examples of how knowledge has been depicted through history up to the present, each organized by the primary style of presentation used: circle or tree formats.  Lima’s books have been compared with Edward Tufte’s works on information presentation; both titles make for inspirational and delightful browsing:
eBook
The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge – Lima, Manuel

eBook
The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge – Lima, Manuel

eBook
How To Write a Successful Research Grant Application: A Guide For Social And Behavioral Scientists, 2nd Ed.

BF76.4.T45 2018
A Telepsychology Casebook: Using Technology Ethically and Effectively In Your Professional Practice – Campbell, Millan, And Martin

BF575.P9 C33 2017
The Cambridge Handbook of The Psychology of Prejudice – Chris G. Sibley And Fiona Kate Barlow, Eds.

eBook
What Psychology Majors Could and Should Be Doing: A Guide to Research Experience, Professional Skills, and Your Options After College, 2nd Ed.

eBook
Social Issues in Living Color:  Challenges and Solutions from the Perspective of Ethnic Minority Psychology – Arthur Blume, Ed.

eBook
The Anti-Anxiety Workbook: Proven Strategies to Overcome Worry, Phobias, Panic, and Obsessions – Antony and Norton

eBook
War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict – Jeffrey M. Shaw And Timothy J. Demy, Eds.

eBook
Food, Feasts, and Faith: An Encyclopedia of Food Culture in World Religions – Paul Fieldhouse

D523.J44 2016
1916: A Global History – Jeffery, Keith

DK254.R3 S66 2016
Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs – Douglas Smith

DS735.C3145 V.9 Pt.2
Cambridge History of China:  Vol. 9 Part 2 The Ch’ing Dynasty To 1800 – Willard Peterson

DK265.S525 2015
The “Russian” Civil Wars, 1916-1926: Ten Years that Shook the World – Smele, Jonathan

The Ryukyu Kingdom was centered on Okinawa:
DS895.R95 A3713 2017
The Ryukyu Kingdom: Cornerstone of East Asia – Mamoru Akamine

DS902.17.K67 2014
History Of Korea In Maps: From Prehistory to the Twenty-First Century – Michael D. Shin

The following title is an excellent book on the Charleston slave rebellion of 1822:
eBook
The Denmark Vesey Affair: A Documentary History – Ed. By Douglas R. Egerton And Robert L. Paquette

E98.M34 C65 2017
Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits:  Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture – Chip Colwell

HB195.C28 2016
How States Pay for Wars – Cappella Zielinski, Rosella

HM585.R65 2017
Theory for the Working Sociologist – Rojas, Fabio

eBook
Culture in Networks – Mclean, Paul

HM742.K53 2017
Social Media Freaks: Digital Identity in the Network Society – Kidd, Dustin

HQ144.G779 2016
Trafficked Children and Youth in The United States: Reimagining Survivors – Goździak, Elżbieta M.

eBook
Immigration: Examining the Facts – Eastman, Cari Lee Skogberg

eBook
Talking Conflict: The Loaded Language of Genocide, Political Violence, Terrorism, and Warfare – Anna M. Wittmann

eBook
Women, War, and Violence: Topography, Resistance, and Hope – Mariam M. Kurtz and Lester R. Kurtz, Eds.

eBook
Windows into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology – Marx, Gary T.

eBook
Dangerous Spaces: Beyond the Racial Profile – Jones, D. Marvin

eBook
Mindfulness for the Next Generation: Helping Emerging Adults Manage Stress and Lead Healthier Lives – Holly Rogers

eBook
Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality: Examining Attitudes Across the Globe – Adamczyk, Amy

eBook
Social Work and the City: Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work – Charlotte Williams, Ed.

eBook
The Disability Studies Reader, 5th Ed. – Lennard J. Davis, Ed.

HV9304.L54 2016
After Life Imprisonment: Reentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration – Liem, Marieke

eBook
Josquin des Prez and His Musical Legacy: An Introductory Guide – William Elders

eBook
Composer Genealogies: A Compendium of Composers, Their Teachers, and Their Students – Pfitzinger, Scott

ML410.E44 C34 2014
Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington – Edward Green

eBook
Vaccination and Its Critics: A Documentary and Reference Guide – Rosner, Lisa

eBook
Oxford Companion to Cheese – Catherine Donnelly

eBook
Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing – Kirschenbaum, Matthew G.

This next title is by our own Paul White of Anthropology:
TN23.W55 2017
The Archaeology of American Mining – Paul White

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He Said, She Said, Who Said?

Occasionally, someone asks us at the Reference Desk to verify a quotation.  It may be a commonly known phrase, something a famous person said, a proverb from another land, or something pretty (okay, terribly!) obscure.  What to do?  Google, right!  But hold onto your Googs; if you try Google, you’ll often find that the exact same quote – whether correct or not – ping-pongs and pinballs and pachinkos its way from blog to website to Facebook to Pinterest and back to blog ad infinitum with no authoritative source to ground it until nobody really knows whether the quote is accurate, where it originally came from, or whether it’s coming or going.  Of course, that might not matter if you share the philosophy of the Bandar-Log Monkeys in the chapter on Kaa’s Hunting in the first book of Kipling’s The Jungle Book:

We all say so, and so it must be true….

But we rely on accuracy rather than popularity here, and having to plow through an endless number of parroting web pages just makes it all the harder to verify the authentic text and its original source.  That’s why we have what you might call the Un-Google:  a good half dozen or so shelves of quotation books and related dictionaries and sources in the Reference Collection in the P6000’s.  It requires patience, sure, and it’s far from perfect — finding an accurate quote with a confirmed provenance can be a very lengthy and difficult affair, especially when the quotation is inaccurately or only partially remembered — but at least when you find one, the source is usually given.

There are general quotation compilations, such as Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, as well as ones on very specific subjects. (Throwing Monkeys at the Coconuts, for instance, is a collection of travel quotations, although that’s one we don’t have.)  And the indexing of quotes inside the book will vary: some will be indexed by author, some by date or theme, some by the first line of the quote, and others might be by language or country.  Here are a few examples from several quotation books and specialized dictionaries in this part of the Reference Collection:

REF PN6080 .C57 2001
The Concise Dictionary of Foreign Quotations  (p. 113)
Si nous n’avions point de défauts, nous ne prendrions pas tant de plaisir à en remarquer dans les autres.
(If we had no failings, we would not be so pleased to notice them in others.)
(La Rochefoucauld:  Reflexions)

REF PN 6084 .W6 B47 1996
Women’s Words:  The Columbia Book of Quotations by Women  (p. 251)
… people are almost always better than their neighbours think they are.
(George Eliot, Middlemarch, chapter 72)

REF PN 6231 .W64 B43 2015
Spin-glish:  The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language  (pp. 82, 232)
Section 1:  Spin-glish to English definition:
Health care procurement specialist:  Insurance salesperson

Section 2:  English to Spin-glish definition:
Undertaker:  After-death care provider; bereavement care expert; post-health professional.

(This recent spin-quote will unfortunately have to wait for the 2nd edition:
“empowering a culture of controversy prevention.”
https://www.adn.com/opinions/2017/04/23/oh-please-no-controversy-on-campus/ )

REF PN 6371 .D65 1996
I Love Me, Vol. I
Now, this title sounds rather like a multi-volume ode to narcissism, doesn’t it?  Anyone you know?  Can’t wait for Vol. II to come out?  Then try reading it backwards:  it’s a dictionary of palindromes!  Many entries are rather forced – after all, palindromes are difficult! – but some are rather charming (p.231):
Norma is as selfless as I am, Ron

Nor are palindromes restricted to English (p. 219.):
Nisumaa oli isasi ilo aamusin
(Finnish: The field of wheat was your father’s joy in the morning)

Hmm, I think I’ll let you figure out what that one means!  There are full word palindromes, too, not just letter-by-letter ones (p. 139):
Girl, bathing on Bikini, eyeing boy, finds boy eyeing bikini on bathing girl.

And for those who don’t care for Hawaiian music (p. 250):
Oh, no!  Don Ho!

But if someone comes up and tells you this practically cliché palindrome:  “A man, a plan, a canal:  Panama!” you can offer the perfect rejoinder given on p.227:  “No, it’s a banana bastion.”

Sometimes, everyone knows the quotation and who said it – except when that’s not the case.  Like what?  Well, like this popular and insightful quotation from Petronius Arbiter in about 210 B.C.:
We trained hard – but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganized.  I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.

But there’s no note of who translated it into English – or did it even need to be translated?  Did Petronius even write it?  Jim Reeds looked into it and noted that Petronius Arbiter was alive in Nero’s reign over 200 years later – a rather Biblical lifespan!  Beyond that, Reeds couldn’t find any citing of the quotation before 1945 or so (and that’s A.D., mind you, not B.C.!).  But what about the provenance of this revisionist information, much less the quotation itself?  I’ve seen the relevant web page myself, but All Things Must Pass (à la George Harrison’s album title), and so has that web page!  Fortunately, the Wayback Machine (www.waybackmachine.org) can come to the rescue, so here’s a preserved version of the page:
http://web.archive.org/web/20050404005706/http://www.dtc.umn.edu:80/~reedsj/petronius.html
(You can close the banner message that appears at the top.)

There are plenty of variants and translations given in the beginning, so you’ll need to scroll down a bit to get to the source information about the quotation.

A recent book has even been written on the subject of mistaken quotes:
Hemingway Didn’t Say That:  The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O’Toole
http://www.npr.org/2017/04/04/522581148/hemingway-didnt-say-that-and-neither-did-twain-or-kafka

Still, not every good quote is collected in a quotation book, so until next time, I’ll leave you with this bit of wisdom from a long ago fortune cookie:

A little madness,
A little kindness
Makes for happiness

 

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Rules of Thumb

I have a few simple rules of thumb and arcane tricks that can make use of the library and its resources both more pleasant and more effective. I’ll cover three of them today.

The first truly is a rule of thumb. When you look at the small white label on a book that shows the call number (the spine label), it will often have a prefix to indicate a physical location in the library. For instance, if it says REF, then the physical home for the book will be in the Reference Collection near the Reference Desk, while ALASKA means the book will be in the Alaskana Collection on the second floor. If you only see the call number itself without a prefix, then that book belongs in the General Collection. That’s all fine, but what if you find a book you really like in the Reference Collection, for example, and you’d like to find similar books that you could check out?  Place your thumb over the part of the spine label that says REF and make note of the call number underneath it. Go find that call number in the General Collection, and while you probably won’t find the exact same book (it’s too expensive for us to purchase multiple copies), you will find other books on the same and similar subjects. It’s an easy way to find an interesting area to browse without having to stop at a computer and use the catalog.

Another rule to keep in mind is 15 minutes tops. If you come to the library and are having trouble finding what you need or where it’s located, or a database just isn’t working for you, then come see us at the Reference Desk after spending 15 minutes tops. As simple as we try to make the library, it’s still a very complex place. We understand the organization of the library and of information, we know how the databases work, and we have a lot of experience in answering research questions and addressing other concerns. In fact, the real reason for having a reference librarian at the Reference Desk is not to clear printer jams, but to interpret the library to you and to help you find the information you need. I once had a student come to the Reference Desk who was vibrating half a foot off the floor from sheer stress. She had been searching for something for three hours without success, and she finally came to me. She never deserved to have that much frustration, but at the same time, her accumulated frustration made it all the more difficult for me to help her. So honestly, 15 minutes tops — after that, please come and talk to us, and we’ll do our best to connect you with what you need and get things straightened out.

Last is what I call the passive-aggressive nature of publishers, because they did something really wonderful and then never told anyone how to use it. Many books have gilt lettering on the spines, which quite often makes the titles and authors of the books as illegible as if they had been printed with invisible ink. This happens most frequently on the bottom shelves, which can be especially frustrating since it’s so much harder to get near the floor to get a good look at them; add bifocals for Those Of A Certain Age and it’s a recipe for disaster. Well. I happened to discover one day that if you take a scrap of white paper and hold it against the book spine just below the gilt lettering, the light reflected from the white paper will make the gilt lettering glow; it’s literally revelatory! Not only can you actually see what the darned book is, you no longer need a three-year-old to help you with the bottom shelves. You can use the palm of your hand for this, too, but it won’t reflect light quite as well as paper does. A great set to try it out on is the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography at REF E176 .N27, a set of green books that occupies two bottom shelves near the Reference reshelving cart. Give it a try; this one trick alone, simple as it is, can make your library life so much easier!

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Handbook of the Mammals of the World

A great series of books we have in the Reference Collection is the magnificent Handbook of the Mammals of the World from Lynx Edicions. ‘Handbook’ is a bit of a misnomer, as you’d need Hagrid’s hands to hold one comfortably; they’re closer to coffee table books in size, but the content is scientific in scope and presentation rather than general interest. The books are beautifully and profusely illustrated with wonderful color photographs, drawings, and range maps, and filled with scientific descriptions of each mammal. The articles are good starting points for further research on a given animal; there is also an extensive bibliography at the end of each volume. Six out of a projected nine volumes have been published since 2009:

Volume 1: Carnivores
Volume 2: Hoofed Mammals
Volume 3: Primates
Volume 4: Sea Mammals
Volume 5: Monotremes and Marsupials
Volume 6: Lagomorphs and Rodents I

We will soon have Volume 6, while the remaining volumes to be published are:

Volume 7: Rodents II
Volume 8: Insectivores
Volume 9: Bats

And did I mention the amazing photographs? Hunting, eating, resting, mating, raising young, and even spy hopping, where whales in a vertical posture raise their heads above the surface of the water so that they can see what’s going on – the photographs are stunningly good and a great complement to the articles. You can find the first five volumes in the Reference Collection at this call number:

REF QL701.2 .H36 2009

They’re well worth taking a few minutes to get acquainted with. Enjoy!

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Recent Additions to the Consortium Library

Midsummer is a good time to look back at a few of the past academic year’s acquisitions. These titles reflect a wide variety of subjects, but this past year’s funding also enabled us to add many more titles than I’ve listed here; we are not likely to be as fortunate this coming year.

You can find links to the ebooks by looking the titles up in the Library Catalog or in QuickSearch. For reference books, our policy is to purchase ebooks before print when possible, so if a title on the shelf looks a bit old, check to see if there might be a more recent edition or treatment in an electronic format.  I hope you find something useful for your research, your studies, your personal life, or all three — and if not, then please ask at the Reference Desk and we’ll do our best to help you find what you need.

eBook – Oil: A Cultural and Geographic Encyclopedia of Black Gold

ALASKA E99.T6 S53 2015 – Sharing Our Knowledge: The Tlingit and Their Coastal Neighbors

ALASKA G155.U6 B86 2015 – So, How Long Have You Been Native? Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide

eBook – Issues in U.S. immigration, 2nd ed.: v.1: Accent discrimination—indentured servitude; v.2: Indigenous superordination—Zadvydas v. Davis

HM821.C676 2014 – Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times

eBook – Whose child am I? Unaccompanied, undocumented children in U. S. immigration custody

eBook – Guns Across America: Reconciling Gun Rules and Rights

LB1778.K45 2015 – The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide To Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job

eBook – Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers

eBook – Latino stats: American Hispanics by the Numbers

REF BS511.3.O88 2013 – The Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation

eBook – Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture

REF BP173.4.O94 2013 – The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women

eBook – American Civil War: a State-by-State Encyclopedia

eBook – Slave culture: a Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project

eBook – World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection, 2nd ed.

eBook – Beyond Rosie: a Documentary History of Women and World War II

HV6433.I722 M35 2015 – The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State

eBook – Women of Power: Half a Century of Female Presidents and Prime Ministers Worldwide

eBook – Sex and the Office: a History of Gender, Power, and Desire

eBook – The Other Classical Musics: Fifteen Great Traditions

REF ML410.S3 J65 2014 – Franz Schubert: the Complete Songs (3 vols.)

eBook – The History of Cartography: Cartography in the Twentieth Century, vol. 6

RC553.A88 S54 2015 – NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

eBook – Twitter and Society

eBook – APA Handbook of Nonverbal Communication

eBook – APA Handbook of Psychology and Juvenile Justice

eBook – Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource of the Transgender Community

RC521.A38 2016 – The Dementia Caregiver: A Guide to Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders

BF575.G7 P37 2010 – Bereavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life, 4th ed.

eBook – Archaeology of Food

eBook – Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 3rd ed.

eBook – Ring of Fire: an Encyclopedia of the Pacific Rim’s Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes

REF QL701.2.H36 2009 – Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Vol. 5 – Monotremes and Marsupials

 

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Verification and the Wild World Web

How can I be sure
In a world that’s constantly changing?
— The Young Rascals

That’s a good question, especially in our modern digital world – how exactly can you be sure?  You can increase your chances by learning how to think critically about online sources, and one title that can help is a new publication from the European Journalism Centre called the Verification Handbook: An Ultimate Guideline on Digital Age Sourcing for Emergency Coverage.  Remember the adage:  trust, but verify?  The attitude here is much more in the vein of verify, then trust.  Here’s the link for a free PDF download:

http://verificationhandbook.com

This title is intended for journalists and aid responders who need to quickly find out whether something is real or not.  But while the rest of us might not want to go so far as to directly contact the person who first uploaded the questioned content to social media, there’s a lot that non-journalists can learn from it, too.  It’s divided into ten short chapters on things like ‘3: Verifying User-Generated Content’ (UGC is an acronym to remember when reading this book – it’s everywhere!), ‘4: Verifying Images,’ and ‘5: Verifying Video.’  There are a number of interesting case studies that are like short detective stories; for instance, there’s one on a giant beach ball on a city street and another on sharks swimming in a suburb after Hurricane Sandy.  The book concentrates on news events, so other case studies include things like the Boston Marathon bombing and the 2011 Japanese earthquake.

The last chapter, ‘Verification Tools,’ lists several pages of useful internet tools and is worth browsing all by itself.  If you’d like more, you can also download two related free books from that same link, one of additional materials and more case studies, and another focusing on investigative reporting.

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Holocaust Resources

January 27th was Holocaust Remembrance Day, so I thought I would offer a few relevant websites, reference titles, and films.

Museum Websites
These links are for the primary museums in the United States, Israel, and Germany; there is a wealth of online material offered:

http://www.ushmm.org              United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
http://www.yadvashem.org       Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum
http://www.jmberlin.de/main/EN/homepage-EN.php          Jewish Museum, Berlin

Reference Collection Resources
Here are a few Reference Collection titles that are either focused on the Holocaust or else have significant sections concerning the Holocaust:

REF D804.3.E53 1990
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (4 vols.)

REF D804.3.O94 2010
Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies

REF D805.A2 U55 2009…
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and
Ghettos, 1933-1945
(4 books in 2 volumes out of a projected 7 volumes)

REF D804.19.H55 2006
The Holocaust (Primary Sourcebook Series)

REF DS102.8.E496 2007
Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed., vol. 9 (Her-Int)

REF DS134.255.J8313 2010
The Jews in the secret Nazi reports on popular opinion in Germany, 1933-1945

REF HV6322.7.E532 2005
Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

REF JC578.H386 2006
Handbook of Reparations

Other Works
We also have many titles on the Holocaust beyond the Reference Collection. You can search in the Library Catalog or in QuickSearch on relevant terms such as Holocaust or Jewish Resistance to find them. WorldCat offers many more titles, although you will need to make interlibrary loan requests for many of them.

Films about the Holocaust: A Short and Very, Very Incomplete List
We don’t have many Holocaust-related films at the Consortium Library, but here are a few that are available from Anchorage Public Libraries, NetFlix, and other sources:

Documentaries
Shoah (1985; 6 DVDs) – APL Loussac – DVD FOR FREN 940.53 SHOAH
Night and Fog (1955; 31 minutes) – APL Loussac – DVD FOR FREN 940.5317 NIGHT-A

Feature Films
Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) – APL Loussac – DVD FOR FREN AU-REVO
Schindler’s List (1993) – APL Eagle River – DVD FE SCHINDL
The Shop on Main Street (1965) – APL Loussac – DVD FN SHOP-ON
Kapo (1959) – APL Loussac – DVD FOR ITAL KAPO

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Beyond This Island Earth: Space Resources To Explore While Waiting For The Force To Awaken

[First, a brief update on the October 21st post on Tutankhamun’s tomb: radar scanning in late November gave researchers 90 percent confidence that there is more to the burial chamber beyond its interior walls; they’ll investigate further over the next few months.]

What with one incredible photograph after another coming back from Pluto over these past several months, it’s a good time to check out space exploration resources! Books yet to be published will have plenty of information about Pluto and its moons, but for right now, the best source of new information on Pluto is NASA’s New Horizons website:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html

We also have some excellent titles on other aspects of the solar system and the universe. This next title is a good general reference for the solar system (although the New Horizons Pluto flyby, along with other recent missions, will certainly require a new edition soon):

REF QB501.E53 2007     Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 2nd ed. (2007)

In addition, we have atlases concerning Mars exploration, the Galilean Moons of Jupiter, our own moon, and other planets and moons. You can find links to these following three ebooks by searching on their titles in the Library Catalog:

eBook     The international Atlas of Mars Exploration: Vol. 1, 1953 to 2003 (2012)

eBook     Atlas of the Galilean Satellites (2010)

eBook     Photographic Atlas of the Moon (2002)

The non-photographic Times Atlas of the Moon can be found in the Oversize Collection, as well as in one of the Reference Collection atlas cases.

OVR QB595.U49 1969     Times Atlas of the Moon

One of our most recent titles covers the just-ending Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, including information on the giant geysers on the ice moon Enceladus, Titan, Saturn’s rings, and much more:

QB671.M45 2015     The Cassini-Huygens Visit to Saturn (2015)

QB means Astronomy in the Library of Congress call number system, so you can find interesting books on everything from asteroids to galaxies just by browsing the QBs in the Reference, General, and Oversize collections; the NAS section for NASA in the Government Documents section also has some very interesting works, such as this periodical that is available both in print and online:

GOV DOCS NAS 1.83/4     Hubble … Science Year in Review
http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/science_year_in_review/

More extrasolar ‘exoplanets’ are being discovered every day; this ebook is an excellent title that discusses both exoplanets and the possibilities of discovering life:

eBook     The Life of Super-Earths (2012)

There are some astronomy-related DVDs in the Media Collection:

MEDIA QB88.F68 2009                400 Years of the Telescope (2009)

MEDIA QB500.268.T443 2010    Telescope: Hunting the Edge of Space (2010)

Two classics worth seeing are ‘Cosmos’ and ‘Powers of Ten.’ Carl Sagan’s 13-part ‘Cosmos,’ which was first broadcast in 1980, has inspired so many people:

MEDIA QB44.2.C834 2000         Cosmos (re-mastered, restored, and enhanced edition)

The captivating 9-minute Charles and Ray Eames 1968 film, ‘Powers of Ten,’ is an impressive demonstration of just how big — and small — the universe really is. What, the title doesn’t sound very interesting? Give it one minute and you’ll want to watch the whole thing. Scroll to the bottom of this web page for the video:

Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe
http://www.eamesoffice.com/the-work/powers-of-ten/

The narrator of ‘Powers of Ten,’ by the way, is not just any voice, but that of Philip Morrison, a noted physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, helped assemble the Nagasaki bomb, and later became a strong advocate for the non-militaristic use of nuclear energy.

The last title I’ll mention is one that local libraries don’t have right now, but is worth knowing about. It’s a beautifully illustrated book of space as imagined by artists:

The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era (2014)

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