Frustratingly Unattainable Benchmarks

bq.There is also the matter of his genius. Goethe once said – modestly not including himself in the list – that certain individuals, like Shakespeare and Mozart, were put on earth solely in order to provide frustratingly unattainable benchmarks of human capacity and achievement. Bearing this in mind, it is actually quite a relief that we know next to nothing about Shakespeare’s life; and it is quite easy to choose to learn next to nothing about Mozart’s. After all, he wasn’t around that long, he spent most of the time composing, and no human detail can compare with the sublimity of the work. – “Nicholas Lezard(Epistolary playfulness of a genius)”:,12084,1216285,00.html

Linux invented Linus

Next time you need an example of how the Internet is not always an authoritative source, you can point this to how the “Alexis de Tocqueville Institution(Alexis de Tocqueville Institution)”: claims that Linus Torvald “didn’t invent(Torvalds claim to invent Linux probably false, says new study)”: Linux. What is next, a claim that “BSD(Berkeley Software Distribution)”: was developed at some place other than Berkeley? Or that Microsoft invented “DOS(Inventors of the Modern Computer)”: Kip pointed out some good links below and I thought I would add this “primary source(Some Notes on the Who wrote Linux Kerfuffle, Release 1.3)”: I will be curious to see if the book actually comes out. — I was curious what Richard Stallman would “have to say(Stallman vs Ken Brown)”: about all of this. It was pretty much what I thought.

Deism and Patrick Henry

A couple of weeks ago in the library at church, I happened across a chapter in the book discussing the reaction of leading Baptist philosophers to Deism. They had, as you might imagine, some rather strong opinions. I haven’t done a lot of research since then but it is interesting the things you come across or in at least one case, have sent to you.
bq.Thomas Paine is sometimes grouped with the Founding Fathers…It would be difficult to name a single one of the Founding Fathers who approved of Paine’s Age of Reason, his famous tract attacking religion in general and evangelical Christianity in particular. Even less-than-evangelicals like Benjamin Franklin and the “Unitarians” all denounced Paine’s book. – Were the “Founding Fathers?(Were the Founding Fathers Deists, Freethinkers, and Infidels?)”:
bq.Listen to the words of Patrick Henry. He testified to his Christian faith. He knew even then that many said he was a deist, and he clearly denounced deism. Read for yourself. – “Larry Rice(Patrick Henry)”:
bq.For the past few years a friend of mine in the Midwest has been engaged in a war of words in the columns of a local newspaper. Every so often someone writes a letter to the editor claiming that the United States is a Christian nation and that, as the formula goes, “freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.” In response, my friend writes a letter pointing out that the Founding Fathers tended to be deists, not Christians. They saw God as, essentially, a watchmaker. He created the universe, wound it up and then stood back to let it run. If Franklin, Washington, Jefferson and Paine had a religion, it was a faith in reason, not in the Bible. – “Scott McLemee(Pleading the First)”:,0,2943544.story Simple disputes have two sides. This one has a lot more than that.

Profiling Librarians

As Steven “noted(Yay and Yuck!!!)”:, Blogger has added their new profile system. So you can go through and look at all the people in a specific industry like the ever-popular “Museums / Libraries(Museums / Libraries)”: I found out any number of things like that “CLASS is in a class of its own(Higher Education)”: . And Freddy-D, we are “out here(Is Anybody Out There?)”:

Appearance of Impropriety

Generally, Libraries buy books from vendors. And we pay them to do it. This is a sort of time-honored practice in a capitalist society. Rob Brian was apparently “paid(Librarian admits he was paid by US bookseller)”: to sell books to at least one vendor. And he doesn’t feel that he did anything wrong. Apparently, Mark D’Arney intensely “disagreed(Death of a whistleblower)”:

Joan Frye Williams

I just spent the last two days in a workshop with the truly fantastic “Joan Frye Williams(Joan Frye Williams)”: While her website is sort of plain, I can tell you that she is one of the “Infopeople(Biographical Info for Joan Frye Williams)”:, or you can go here to read her “biography(Joan Frye Williams)”: The emphasis was on the perception that people have of libraries, and I think I learned a great deal that I will have to think about in the coming weeks.

Librarian Quick Takes

I found a bunch of librarian stories this morning. * Wendy Axhelm was “fired(Court next stop for fired librarian)”: by the “Travis Unified School District(Travis Unified School District)”: because her busband, Harry, is a board member. * Marie Bryan says she was “forced out(I was forced to retire)”: of her position as Director of the “Woodland Public Library(Woodland Public Library)”: * Jeanell Morris believes her “community(Hood County, texas)”: is polarized and is therefore “seeking(Retired librarian files for council)”: a position on the City Council. * Phyllis Hege recently “retired(Retirement won’t slow long-time Oxford librarian)”: from the “Oxford Public Library(Oxford Public Library)”: after a 30 year career. * Douglas Losey has been “hired(New librarian in Roxana to meet public Saturday)”: as Director of the “Roxana Public Library(Roxana Public Library)”: * Cecelia Solomon is “returning(Librarian gets back to books)”: to the “Powell Middle School(Powell Middle School)”: Media Center after a forced stint as a Social Studies Teacher by “new( Newcomer named principal at Powell Middle School)”: Principal Michael Ransaw. * The unnamed Media Specialist at “Arthur C. Butler Elementary School(Arthur C. Butler Elementary school)”: is on paid leave while an alleged incident of taping closed the mouths of students is “investigated(School Librarian Suspended For Taping Students’ Mouths)”: * Retired Librarian Attracta Harron has been “missing(Missing Librarian: Police Search Suspect’s Home)”: for over three months and police are searching the home of their chief suspect. Actually there were more, but I thought I had done enough.

Julius Schwartz

Last summer at DragonCon, one of the sessions on the Comic Book Track was about Super Teams. On the panel were “Geoff Johns(About Geoff Johns)”:, writer of JSA, Avengers, and Teen Titans and “Judd Winick(The Worlds of Judd Winick)”:, writer of Exiles and Outsiders (and you may remember from the “Third Season(Real World 3: San Francisco)”: of the Real World.) The other member of the Panel was lengendary DC Comics Editor, “Julie Schwartz(Julius Schwartz)”: The panel consisted mainly of people asking questions. Geoff and Judd would formulate an answer, and then we would all sit back while Julie would regale us with a story from DC Lore. Many of them I had heard before, but there is absolutely nothing like hearing them from the person who actually lived them. That particular hour was the highlight of the whole weekend for me. Julius Schwartz “passed away(Updated: Julie Schwartz Dies)”: February 8th, 2004.

A Librarian named Jenny

Hey, this “Jenny Levine(Woman key in bringing tech to libraries in suburbs)”: person sounds really talented! Wouldn’t it be cool if she had a “weblog(The Shifted Librarian)”:

Trina Magi

Trina Magi has staked a position as an opponent of the Patriot Act and as a “Defender of the Free World(Defender of the Free World)”: She is also a past president of the “Vermont Library Association(Vermont Library Association)”: as well as Reference Librarian at the “University of Vermont(Welcome to the UVM Libraries)”: