Posted by: erinserb | August 14, 2012

Olympic moments

It is bittersweet to see the XXXth Summer Olympiad  end, but it is probably a good thing for nearly all who want to get back to their regularly scheduled TV programs and adhering to their healthy bed times.

The Olympics afford those who are not even “into” athletics, a chance to dream about achieving potentials which aren’t usually thought, going for the Gold to be one.  Although the Games have the proverbial controversy, be it dope testing, unfair officiating, jingoistic fervor, etc., it still seems we watch.  Sometimes we watch it live, but more often than not, we watch tape delays because that is the way NBC does it.  Maybe for the Games of Rio 2016, we will watch more live programming because Rio is only 2 hours ahead of Easter Daylight Time, but I digress.

My Olympic moment came unexpectedly and will be forever burned into my memory.  It was 1994 and St. Louis proudly hosted the U.S. Olympic Festival – a yearly offering for a lucky city to participate in a mini-Olympics.  This festival is no longer held, probably due to the cost. 

I was attending Washington University in St. Louis in the final year of my Master’s program.  Wash. U. hosted some events, as they did in the 1904 Olympic Games, which were a second-rate event in the shadow of that year’s World’s Fair.  As I walked outside of the old Prince Hall, I noticed an all but empty Francis Field, where most of the track and field events were held back then, both in 1904 and 1994.  The sky was beautifully amber as the sun was setting.  I noticed a cauldron of fire, and it was the Olympic Flame, lit specifically for the Festival in 1994.

There was nary a soul but me and the Flame against the beautiful backdrop; a Flame that indicated that at one time, the World came to St. Louis for the Fair, and oh yes, the Olympiad too!  As I got closer to the Flame, I could hear the rush of the gas jets providing the fuel.  In that moment, someone who was and is a lover of all things Olympic, had a shiver go down his spine.  I spent a few moments next to the Flame; I didn’t want to leave it, but all things must go on….and London 2012 went on, the inheritor of that and all the flames that have burned since and in the future.

Posted by: erinserb | February 9, 2012

Gene Cards (4)

In searching for genetic testing for certain conditions (specially major depression), I came across a good site – Gene Cards (r).  If you take a known gene, linked to a potential genetic defect – such as the NTRK3 gene (via a simple Google search), you will be given the option to link to this website.  It has gene maps, information for testing, research.  Perhaps the most important link is to NCBI and PubMed – where articles are FREE – free is good 🙂

May all your genetic searches be as pleasant!

Posted by: erinserb | February 8, 2012

Community Conversation: Copyright and Social Media

As a throwback to my old Horizon/Wimba days at University of Alabama, I wanted to comment on the most recent webinar provided by The Center for Intellectual Property, University of Maryland University College.  It felt good to be “back in the Wimba saddle” again. 

It has been particularly rewarding to be a member of CIP, as I attended my first webinar (titled) Copyright and Social Media – a lecture by Jeannette Carmadella, JD.   The information is so timely to the nexus of the meeting of copyright and social media.  I have a particular interest in the relationship of YouTube and copyright infringement.  Basically, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, allows social media sites like YouTube to temporarily allow copyrightable material.  If the owner of the video claims copyright, YouTube must take down the video (cease and desist).   Maybe that is why some videos go viral – temporarily.  If the owner doesn’t claim copyright, we can enjoy lots of music videos, goofy and campy videos,  and egghead lectures for a long time 🙂

I also found out that it is within Fair Use and the Copyright Laws to comment on an article (on just about anything), as long as I attribute to the source and/or hyperlink to it.  I was sweating bullets there for a minute, because I have done the very same thing here many times.

So I will continue to “comment and blog away”, even if anyone doesn’t listen. 

I (hopefully) wish to pursue a copyright certification via CIP; then I can be a downright and outright outrageous blogger of copyright do’s and don’ts.

Posted by: erinserb | November 18, 2011

Ruining Baseball – one step at a time.

I love baseball, perhaps my favorite sport, next to all the others – Jai Alai need not apply!

Baseball will add two more wild card playoff teams, one in each league.  Also, the Houston Astros will move from the NL Central to the AL West.  It gets worse though!

There will be an expansion of inter-league play to 30 games, and yes folks, the potential for the National League to finally “adopt” the dreaded designated hitter (DH).  It could get worse – switching to aluminum bats, psychedelic laser shows and robot assisted bat and ball boys.

Seriously though, it is about one thing – MONEY!!!  Bud Selig is all for “fans loving the games”, but let’s be honest; all these cosmetic changes have the inglorious underpinnings of the mad dash for profit.  It is why games that are long scheduled for the daytime end up being turned into night games to “accommodate” national TV audiences.

To the average baseball Joe, these changes are probably innocuous, but to those who truly care about America’s pastime, it is as painful as an 18 inning game.

Posted by: erinserb | September 7, 2011

9/11; enough already!

It was a horrible day, 9/11/2001; such a low time in American history.  We have paid dearly in the loss of the victims, and families of the victims whose lives will never be the same again.

We’ve also paid dearly with a War on Terrorism, which perverted itself to an invasion of two countries, 5,000 American troops dead, countless others maimed on both sides, at least a trillion dollars spent ad nauseam.   Oh, and remember the tax cuts that didn’t pay for these wars either…good job George Bush and his ilk.

I am a U.S. Navy veteran from a different era – think post Vietnam era in the late 1970’s.  We were not at war then, but we had a different type of war – the Cold War, in which we were always a “hair trigger” from WWIII.    These things seemed sterile to us at the time, i.e. how many missiles did the Soviet’s have, what did we have, Mutally Assured Destruction etc.  We didn’t seem to go on and on about that time in our history – though the outcomes would have made 9/11 seem like a small popgun incident.

I am tired of hearing about 9/11!  Why?  Because it is thrown at us from all angles; just turn on your television or pick up a magazine; anyone for that matter.  It was a day that all of us will remember, including where we were at and what we were doing.   10 year anniversaries deserve to be remembered with dignity and discretion – none of that exists with 9/11; it will always hang around our generational neck.

Why don’t we remember the “never again another Vietnam”?  It has just been playing out over the last 10 years, but the record keeps playing over and over again….just like 9/11.  Let’s celebrate our accomplishments and build our nation back up with innovative programs to get people back to work.  I doubt many people who are jobless think much about 9/11 or terrorism, they just want their lives and liberties back again.

Posted by: erinserb | September 6, 2011

Stroke

Yesterday, my father-in-law had a mild stroke.  He is doing well in the hospital, and they’ve run the various high-tech tests, such as CT/MRI/and echo cardiogram.

Stroke, it seems, is much more common than we think, but the good thing is how quickly (if help is available) they can be addressed and effects can be offset.

The doctor’s are saying that he will be fine, he has no slurring – at least today – of his speech and is in one of the best places for neuroscience care here in St. Louis.

I believe they are pointing to the much more common type of stroke, that which involves a clot in a vein/artery in the brain.   Symptoms vary on the area of the brain which has been affected.

So we are just waiting, particularly for the results of the MRI.  I believe he is at the “out-of-the-woods” stage, but there must be constant monitoring.  The brain has a remarkable way of compensating after trauma such as a stroke.

Now if they could just give him a little peace and quiet, he’ll be okay – think no vital signs being taken at 2:00 a.m. 🙂

Posted by: erinserb | September 2, 2011

Labor Day

Workers of the world unite!   That usually is the slogan for May Day – May 1st – which is observed as Labor Day in most coutries of the world.  May Day, according to some, is another day observed as a Socialist Day in disguise – this may or may not be true, but recognition is given to organized labor throughout the world on that day.

Labor Day is viewed here in the U.S. as another day promoting a “sale of the century”, last day for swimming (everybody out of the pool), bar-b-que, and football season kick-off.  I believe that very few people think of what the day really means. 

For we laborers, it should represent all of our rights and privileges as workers.  Many of the advancements in worker’s rights were honed by laborers  in the late 19th century.  So what?  Well, I grew up in a union family, so we were always reminded of the importance of organized labor and for all of the pro-labor laws which are supposed to “protect” the modern American laborer.  I think if it were up to the business world, there may be no Labor Day, primarily because it would be another day of generating profit for the wealthy – heaven forbid!

So let’s hear it for the American Worker, still the most productive in the world; forget about a Labor Day parade – let’s go party at the pool and bar-b-que, after we’ve gone to the “sale of the century”.

Posted by: erinserb | September 1, 2011

Clinical Detachment

Okay, let me say that all the nice things related to librariana e.g. books, periodicals, databases, monographs, ad infinatum, are not like medical patients.

I believe that one of the first things a doctor must do – depending if he/she were made aware – is to develop a clinical detachment of and to their patients.  Why is this?  Because doctor’s would go crazy if every patient they treated, either suffers from pain for the rest of their life, or meets the grim reaper. 

How does this apply to library science?  Well in a much smaller way, a librarian (particularly a newbie) must detach themselves from the collection – if they do not do this, then they will go crazy wanting to read everything from Modern Plumbing to an obscure article in PubMed.  Thus the librarian is prsented with a larger dilemma than a doc.   I  have learned this “clinical detachment” over the past few years, but sometimes I just cannot help myself to a heaping helping of Wikipedia, Google Earth, Popular Science, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, various medical dictionaries, ad nauseam.

Alas, I have clinically detached myself from these “patients”.  Now, doctors have something to learn about detachment….and they didn’t even go to library school!

Posted by: erinserb | August 31, 2011

Send in the Goons!

Libraries, it seems, are also turning into competitive environments; this is particularly true at my school.

Sometimes, it is not enough to “shhhhhhh” the student patrons.  So (tongue in cheek) I have decided to establish a goon squad for both my library and lab, together these constitute what is called the learning resources center.

These goons could be summoned at a moments notice, and would absolutely “thrash” the student competition, then follow-up by making a few choice “unfortunates” to spend their entire day researching obscure topics on EBSCO. 

Yeh, I kinda like that!  A goon squad for all occasions 🙂

Posted by: erinserb | July 13, 2011

A test post

McEirin the Librarian est. 2009 now lives on FB too! 🙂

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