Saturday, October 22, 2005

Books, music, videogames, and other media to consume

I have a LONG commute on workdays--I take the Alexandria DASH bus and two Metro lines (Blue and Yellow) to and from work.

The upshot of this is that I've gotten to read a lot more books than before--esp. since I'm not reading for class anymore. Today my subscription of Wired started to get forwarded to the new address, so I'll have to read also. (I'm a slow reader and it takes at least 3-4 days to really go through Wired).

Since moving back here in September, I've read two books so far:

1) Hawkins, Jeff with Sandra Blakeslee. On intelligence : how a new understanding of the brain will lead to the creation of truly intelligent machines. 1st Owl Books ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005, c2004.

2) Basbanes, Nicholas. The splendor of letters : The permanence of books in an impermanent world. 1st Perennial ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2004, c2003.

Now on my reading list:

1) Katz, Mark. Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music. University of California Press, 2004. [Whose talk I saw at the Atlantic Chapter meeting of MLA, but Amazon still hasn't shipped it to me yet. Grrrr.]

2) Sedaris, David. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Little & Brown, 2004. I just heard him on This American Life on WAMU this afternoon.

3) Nicholas Basbanes: Well, all of his books that I haven't read yet. These include: Patience and Fortitude: Wherein a Colorful Cast of Determined Book Collectors, Dealers, and Librarians Go About the Quixotic Task of Preserving a Legacy ; A Gentle Madness : Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books ; and his new book Every Book Its Reader : The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World. Thanks for telling me about this last one Hannah--it's coming out in December. I'll be reserving my copy soon. I also hope to attend a class at Rare Book School some year.

4) Beck, John. Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2004. ISBN: 1578519497

I picked this last one because I was fascinated by the talk I attended given by the author earlier this month on the subject of gaming and how people who have played video games their whole life perceive and interact with the world around them.

Here's a description of the book from a Publisher's Weekly review:
While many parents fret about their children's minds turning to goo as they squander hour after hour absorbed in electronic diversion, the authors argue that gamers glean valuable knowledge from their pastime and that they're poised to use that knowledge to transform the workplace.
Also to read:

ACRL Guidelines for Media Resources in Academic Libraries Review Task Force. Guidelines for Media Resources in Academic Libraries (DRAFT). Revised draft. Available at ALA-ACRL website.

And with the coming of my first paycheck, I've taken the plunge into videogame land again, and bought a copy of The Sims: Deluxe Edition. (Because I have so much time). My eyes were also getting very buggy playing an old copy of Lode Runner. (Lode Runner being like the Red Bull of Fortran).

My choral singing is still going strong. We're getting our November concert repertoire in good shape. And in an educational use of iTunes, I've even bought a copy of Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, which we're singing. 3 tracks * $0.99 each = a lot better than buying a $16.00 CD just to learn a new piece. The Hebrew's been coming along. I'm definitely not used to singing in that language. Definitely a fun piece, though. Not as spectacular as Belshazzar's Feast, but close.

There's a talk about maps I want to go to next week at the LC about an exhibition being held in the Jefferson Building. I love maps.

October 26, 2005, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Southwest Gallery Second floor Thomas Jefferson building
Ed Redmond of the Geography and Maps Division discusses the Revolutionary War-era and British Atlantic Neptune Map Collection in the "American Treasures" exhibition.
And I have been getting quite a few lessons about some of the more advanced features of Excel in the last few weeks. One thing I should learn for work is regular expressions. Hmmm...maybe getting an MIS would have been helpful after all. I've mentioned to people that the class which I have used the most in the last month and a half was my 1.5 credit networking class in June. (Which was only 3 days!!!)

I haven't seen a movie in over a month. I really want to see the Wallace and Grommit feature: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Current listening of late:
1) Forbidden Broadway- Special Victims Unit (iTunes)
2) Bernstein, Chichester Psalms. Bournemouth Sym./Marin Alsop (iTunes, Naxos)
3) Bach, J.S. Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner (CD, Erato)


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