Librarian Rave Mix

Musical libretto with color overlay

Librarians: You know how it goes.

You are out partying with your librarian friends. Suddenly you realize that your gathering requires a suitable soundtrack. A library-themed soundtrack. Indeed, without the proper music, the event will be a disaster!

It could happen. The worst case scenario is sobering: everyone ends up hopping around to the They Might be Giants’ album “Flood” until the police show up and ticket you with a noise violation.*

Using a combination of technology and powerful query-typing skills, I have SOLVED THIS PROBLEM. Introducing Dancing on the Reference Desk, a free playlist dedicated to libraries, librarians, and their interests.

Including such timeless classics as Ch-Check it Out by the Beastie Boys, and Lady Writer by Dire Straits make sure your next librarian rave is a success with this excellent compilation.

Note: I’m not associated with Spotify, but I do think they are pretty awesome. If you end up using this soundtrack let me know. I would love to attend some rocking librarian parties vicariously.
Credits: I dictated this entire blog post to my iPhone via Dragon Dictate while spooning nutrient-rich goop into the baby’s mouth. Special thanks to Jenny Klumpp who provided numerous excellent suggestions.
* This actually happened. I was in grad school hopping around with my fellow nerds, watching the Muppet Show and listening to TMBG. We chipped in to pay the ticket. This was in my experience hands-down the Dorkiest. Police Intervention. Ever.

South Detroit

The 70’s band Journey is kind of a big deal out here. Apparently they are from the Bay area, and there is a San Francisco civic statute requiring all radio stations to play Journey songs every three hours. Or, so I gather.

While doing a deep textual analysis of the song Don’t Stop Believin’ (sic) this morning, I noticed the phrase “Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit.”

As a Michigan native and Flint Expat (good blog, btw) my librarian senses began tingling. South…Detroit?
South Detroit.
Huh.

Let’s just check the map.

Detroit mapDetroit…
Yep, there it is. Suspicion confirmed! South Detroit is Windsor. Also known to Geographers as Canada.

I guess that Midnight Train going Anywhere was the Via Rail, huh?

(cue guitar solo)

The Typography of Greenwashing

Instead of watching House episodes all day like a normal person, I spent one of my vacation days making a video about the media practice of greenwashing.

According to the world’s only remaining viable encyclopedia, greenwashing is the “practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly.”

I’m interested in the graphic design motifs that seem to pop up whenever a product wants to advertise itself as Good for the Environment. I was inspired by my hilarious friend Gus’s Media Show episode on greenwashing, and I started thinking about all the sans-serif fonts and burlap lining the shelves of my local organic grocery store.*

This is my first video, and I was a bit nervous. I used iMovie to do the editing, and I slapped the whole thing together in an afternoon with the help of some coffee and a misplaced sense of social justice.

I’d like to do more of this. If you guys have any suggestions for other ornery Librarian Avenger topics, I’d love to hear them.

* I live in San Francisco. I patronize an organic grocery store. I don’t own a car or a tv. Live the stereotype!
** That’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe playing in the background, who is the boss of you.

Drunken blog post #3

The Thursday night Linden Lab whisky tasting has degraded in the traditional way. I’m surrounded by tipy nerds, discussing the glories of JQuery. One of my co-workers is wearing a shirt that reads “The Age of Consent Tour 1997”. Nerdcore rap blares from the QA office.

Life is good.

More Second Life employee Rap Battles

Oh yes. The IRC Rap Battles continue at Linden Lab, creators of Second Life. My friend Bridie is in town, and we decided to bitchslap some suckah MCs…

Bridie:
I got so much chips I swear they call me Hewlett Packard
I got so much chips you can have a bag if you’re a snacker

Me:
Running on energy I stole from Half-Life
Too dark to see gotta use my keyboard backlight
Preying on newbies / I like to watch them break down
Running with Bridie / We start the grid they take down

Both:
Aww. Aw yeah.

Previous Linden Lab rap battles

Rearranging the books, playlists

I can’t sort out my head properly, so I’m sorting my books. Plover the cat and I are drinking red wine and water, respectively, and pacing the apartment listening to Motown.

I’m rearranging my books.

I’ve you’ve read Nick Hornsby’s book High Fidelity or seen the movie, you might remember Rob rearranging his record collection. Today is sort of that, but without the breakup.

When I have something big on my mind, usually related to self-definition, I become more interested in music and stories.

The music I listen to becomes Important. The books on my shelves become Me. I download. I read. I sort. I fuss and swap and graze over my books, looking for the right system. And through this, somehow, I describe myself to myself. Whatever is going on in my head benefits from the organization I’m doing with my hands.

I externalize this stuff because it’s easier than neurosurgery and cheaper than therapy.

Behold my books. They are arranged by priority, then color.

Nerdcore Rap Battles in which I have participated…

In my new role as a user experience goon at Second Life, I’m often called upon to participate in rap battles with other employees.

Because we’re all busy, rap battles tend to be text-only and asynchronous, conducted over IRC, twitter, or instant messenger.

Past themes have included: My prowess as a Developer, My (imaginary) Car, Linden Lab Office Culture, and Various Programming Languages.

Below are a few examples of my amazing rap power, mostly gleaned from IM logs. Enjoy responsibly, and please remember check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Killing jira issues like Rambo kills commies / Tasks and subtasks crying for their mommies /As&Os got me going mental / Yoz wants to rap but he’s too CONTINENTAL

Chillin wit’ Jonhenry / Talking ’bout JIRA / Drank me some coffee / Wish it was a beerah

open up email to try and cat-heard / 60 threads later / time is going backward / I just get in when wham! it’s lunch / wtf have I done besides data-crunch?

think you bad / ’cause you so much taller? / you may be blue / but I’m white collar / rollin’ in my office working on a search / you think you’re rapping but its SO MUCH WORSE

Kickin’ it smoove in my GTO / ops wants to have a meeting / but I’ve got ta go!

We are the Men of IBM…

url.jpegOne of my student employees, Katie, is being recruited by IBM. We’re proud of her, and not a bit surprised. Our other student, Zach, is trying to decide between working at Google or Amazon. They will be lucky to have him.

One of the advantages to doing web development at a University, is that you get to work with Google-caliber people, but get to pay them student slave wages. For some reason they don’t seem to mind.

So, in honor of our super students, I’d like to direct you to these official IBM Songs that you can listen to online from their corporate archives. Enjoy, and remember: We are the men! Of IBM!