Saturday, February 19, 2011

Information Currency in Real Life

The most excellent book "Clean it fast, clean it right" (Brendenberg ISBN 174121162x) was one of my more fortuitous purchases for The Home Library - a mere seven bucks for remaindered stock following the release of a new edition.

How much updating can a 1998 copyright-dated book on cleaning need in 2011? Well, gee and heck, nothing significant changed for removing vomit or grease stains. Grease is grease, right? And vomit ... well, let's take it as read. It's still fairly early in the morning here, at least for a Saturday.

Anyways, I wanted information on a homeopathic-style polish for copper, as in the metal. Yep, it was right there on page 131. "One tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of flour, one tablespoon of white vinegar". Simple?

Would that be mined rock salt or evaporated sea salt? Iodised? Crushed, powered or crystal?

Can wholemeal flour be used, or does it have to be the refined pasty stuff; celiacs would be unlikely to possess such a product. Would it be OK to substitute cornflour? Or an oat derivative?

"White" vinegar? Oxidized alcohol. In Our Global Village, wouldn't a rice vinegar introduce a modicum of gracious culinary delight? Fruit vinegars, wine, balsamic, so many to choose from, and yet we are limited to plain old ordinary "white" vinegar.

Then there's the additional pressure of making socially responsible decisions. Even the briefest consideration of the countries of origin of the above-mentioned ingredients exposes the possibilities of their respective histories of human rights abuses; unsustainable environmentally unsound practices; domestic fiscal policies particularly in relation to the monetary support of school libraries, and similar issues of international concern.

As always, the devil is in the detail. So I bought a bottle of the commercial product "Brasso", for less than the cost of the book. Admittedly, the can of metal cleaner doesn't give anywhere near the same level of aesthetic satisfaction sitting on a book shelf ...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: Display and Competition

Amazing what you can do with a ten dollar budget, a "free" hour (OK, laugh here - I did) and a box of bits left over from previous years.

The competition this year involved getting teachers to nominate their favorite "romance" story, film, poem, song, TV show, etc - then printing the teachers' name and their favs all mixed up so the kids could "guess" which teacher nominated what.

Fun for all, particularly the small child who walked away with a big box of chocolates at the end.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Prophets and real life

I'll admit it; sometimes I have a look at my horoscope. They're sometimes good for a laugh. Often they're so generic they have to come true. But today's (Sydney) major broadsheet instructs me to: " ... Keep track by documenting everything important in writing, and [keep] a detailed list of everything ...". Is that spooky, or what?

Video of the Day: Reading a book

Many thanks to loyal supporter Bridget for the heads-up on this one!

The Universal Patron?

Way back when, there was a song "The Universal Soldier". It's so far back that even recalling the first line -without resorting to some form of Internet Research (ie Googling) - is just about impossible for the average Person In The Library, let alone the Man in the Street.

But thanks to the wonders of modern technology, together with the brilliance of a human mind, "they" have come up with a composite graphic for The Face of any city, location, and - by extension - presumably mindset.

It may (or may not) be a simple progression then to produce a composite face for a library's most valued clients; and one for known library vandals, returns defaulters, computer regulation violators, and other categories of miscreants.

What we could actually do with such a graphic leads to so many possibilities, it makes one's ears bleed just from thinking about it. But that could be just me ...