Month: April 2008

You are not alone: An Event Together

Between the two conferences I have attended (the first being Internet Librarian), An Event Apart was much more relevant and useful for me. The speakers and content conjured creativity and provided insight to practical issues I am facing. My job is isolating (I am the only one who understands this stuff), but I met some fantastic people I can relate to in New Orleans. The event should be An Event Together. 😉

Among the people I met is Jeffrey Zeldman, one of the co-presenters (the other being Eric Meyer). I had the opportunity to share my code idea with him, and I think I got a positive reaction. It is appropriate timing for Earth Week; maybe this is something to add to Earth Week celebrations. 😉 takes the sustainability battle into my work; every little bit helps. It is another great incentive to use web standards and challenge ourselves to develop light-weight frameworks. Support energy efficiency by using code efficiency. It also generally fell under one of the top ten strategic technologies (I focus on the code rather than the hardware). I really like the idea, but I am not sure what to do beyond implementing it and creating awareness.

The conference was worth the trip. The timing was really good for the Library Web site redesign I have started, and I got some great ideas (many I am sure are years from possible, sadly). I really enjoyed Jason Santa Maria‘s Good Design Ain’t Easy and Cameron Moll‘s Good vs. Great Design. Stephanie Sullivan gave some very practical and useful tips; I almost wish she had a double session. 😛 I also liked Andy Clarke‘s presentation using comic book layout to solve content layout issues. what a character. 😉 My former co-worker, Goblin Cartoons, would have really enjoyed talking with him. After seeing Andy’s presentation, I should have taken Goblin’s comic book design idea to heart. It would have been awesome.

Once back in Germany, I’ll review my photos and might submit a few to the Flickr group. 🙂

An Event Apart

I have the privilege of attending An Event Apart next week, and I am looking forward to it for the most part. This is exactly the kind of conference I need to visit to do the job I need to do, and the best part is I know most of the speakers and own their books!

From this I hope to take away some fantastic ideas for improving the Library’s Web presence. I already have some ideas and tricks up my sleeve, but hearing and speaking to the best will give me better insight. The biggest improvement is the search I am planning to build. The idea was kind of squashed at my previous job, but I have total control over this one. 😀 It won’t be as minimalistic as originally planned, but I hope to make it very interactive and seamless while maintaining accessibility and usability. The process has already been hard and long, but I am determined to get a content management system and build a high-end Library Web site and Web catalog. I really want to use VuFind; the interface is very simple and elegant, and the features just keep coming!

The trip itself I am not looking forward to. I just made a trip back to the States two weeks ago, and this time I will be flying alone for a much longer time. I’m going to be so wiped! And as soon as I return, I start twelve hour training days (twelve hours because of bad transportation options). Jet lag and computer jargon crammed into my cranium. Sadly, I can’t wait until May is over! 😛

An Event Apart, here I come! 😀

Earth’s Song

At LiveScience, a recent article titled “Earth’s Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever” reminded me of a theory I came up with several years ago titled “Theory of Sound: A Sound Theory“.

When I first wrote down my thoughts, several people wrote pointing out that I do not understand the principles behind gravity, space, and sound. True, and still true today. I am very interested in reading more about it still, I am just not good with non-fiction. 😛 However, I want to point out that some theories don’t need to make scientific sense to be valid (or at least amusing).

Anyhow, some interesting parallels:

  • Earth produces sound
  • the sound is outside our audible range
  • Earth’s sound oscillates similar to wavelengths (or in a ring pattern)
  • Earth’s core is a large magnet that is somewhat spheroidal

Just some food for thought. 😉 To get really crazy, I could extend my original theory to say telekinetic or “flying” ability may be achieved if we could increase our own brain waves… or maybe using a musical instrument, eh? Go music! 😛 But don’t we feel “elated” when listening to certain types of music? Okay, so it is really far fetched. I still think it is amusing.

Ich, Ick

No, I did not just say “I, ick!” if you are familiar with German… Rather, ich, or ick, is a disease that resides in fish tanks that has ran rapid in our large tank the past few days. Before we realized what was happening, the cichlids were extremely ill. Herr ran back to the fish store the next morning (it was already closed the day before), and bought QuIck Cure (cute play on words, ha ha…) and started treatment right away. Sadly, the cichlids passed on the next day. Ich is caused from stress, and the cichlids just couldn’t get along. The moral of this sad event is stress kills.
We have now lost four of our fish. The bala sharks did not make the initial transport to our house, and now the two cichlids. It is very sad, but we are definitely learning (the hard way). Here are our remaining fish, now being treated for the disease:

Large Aquarium
Large Aquarium
Albus and Remus (angelfish)
Albus and Remus
Luna (angelfish)
Sirius (angelfish)
Ely (eel)
Not pictured: Bob the Bristle-nosed Sucker fish, 4 clown loaches (they’ll get names when they start to socialize with us)
Small Aquarium
Small aquarium