Highlights

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Shipwreck found on the beach in Santa Cruz in 2005

I’ve been spending some time updating the photos on older blog posts and have been enjoying the walk down memory lane.

Some of these old posts document some really great quotes I’ve heard from random people over the years. Here are a few highlights:

“I died in Spring and was resurrected in Winter.” – guy on a bike at Santa Clara University.

“This is about me proposing to Chloe’s ashes at the memorial isn’t it?” – Heard on Days of Our Lives in April 2005

“But when I listen to music it is transmitted to the whole world.” – guy at public library listening station when told to turn down the Britney Spears. November 2005

“Hey, I think that’s the library lady..Is that the library lady? Yeah, it is! That’s the library lady, guys!” – kid at the bus station. December 2005.

The man in the bathroom

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Last night right before we closed the library a man was found, collapsed, in the Mens bathroom. The fire department were called. The Paramedics came. Apparently the man wouldn’t let them help him. He kept pushing them away. My co-worker had to unscrew the door to the stall he was in to get to him. As he was propping the guy up he started to lunge at my coworker. There was a bottle of Whiskey sitting next to him. It looked like it was unopened.

As we were closing I noticed that there was a jacket, gloves, and a bike helmet sitting on one of the chairs next to the window. After some discussion, we thought it might belong to the man, who was now being put on a gurney. So I went out to them and asked a Fireman if these could be his things. He said, “they probably are” and then took the things from me.

I looked at the man. He was probably about my age. In his late 30s, early 40s. He looked like anyone. He didn’t look like someone I would associate with being a drunk. He didn’t look homeless. He just looked like a normal. guy.

I felt really bad for him. He was hurting bad enough to do this to himself and I just felt really bad. The Policeman who was there, on the other hand, was less than compassionate. He laughed at him and joked about it with the Fireman. Treated the guy like a loser. I just thought it was really cruel, the way the man was treated by the “authorities.” Clearly the man is sick and needs help. Treating him like he’s not a human being doesn’t help. Granted the man was fighting any attempt at help but that doesn’t matter.

This is what I hate about the cops in this town, and maybe in general. It’s this general lack of compassion. It seems kind of common around here with people. There is a news site that allows comments on their stories and the things that are said about vicitms are utterly horrifiying. Blame the victim. It’s the victim’s fault for being out that early in the morning (in response to someone getting mowed down by a car, dragged for a mile, and dying), The man who committed suicide is a self righteous asshole for killing himself. I’m so sick of this attitude.

Current Event Wednesday: Journalism?

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The Spokane Public Library at 10 S. Cedar in S...

Image via Wikipedia

The Inlander, Spokane’s “trendy” weekly newspaper has published this piece, featuring the Spokane Public Library. Here’s a little snippet if you don’t feel like clicking:

It’s 2:15 on a gray, wintry Saturday afternoon and the downtown Spokane Public Library is brimming with hushed activity. Children scamper about as moms and dads quietly search the shelves. The place is full of men, women, the young and old, rich and poor, interacting silently and harmoniously — reading, browsing the Internet, listening to headphones.

Meanwhile, I sit at a desk with a large computer monitor. I’m in the middle of the action as I begin to peruse pornographic images on sites with names like porno-shack.com and worldsex.com. Racy images flash across the screen, with bodies contorted in unimaginable ways. There are reproductive organs of all shapes, sizes and colors. On screen, women smile back at me seductively.

Here I am, with strangers surrounding me, visiting the Websites your mother warned you about, engaging in a brand of Web-surfing normally reserved for the private confines of one’s own home. Who knew the public library could be so… stimulating?

The whole article chronicles the reporter’s attempt to access, successfully, porn at the Downtown Library. At the end of the article he is shocked because nobody stopped him at all.

I’m not really sure what the point of the article is. Well, that’s not quite right. I do know what the point is. It is to sell papers. Add shock value. There is absolutely no journalism here. This is “infotainment.” It is the journalistic equivalent of bored children making crank phone calls to bars, asking for “Mike Hunt.” The funny thing is that he was doing the very thing he seems to be criticizing. For, what was it? 35 minutes? How many kids walked by him while he looked at porn in the library for 35 minutes?

Gee. What a great idea for a story.

Social Networking software @ libraries

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This is icon for social networking website. Th...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s unfortunate that  congress passed “The Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)” (don’t you love the names of these bills?). Unfortunate because it does not allow children to access websites that utilize social networking web technology. Yes these sites include websites like My Space. BUT other very useful websites utilize this technology, as well. Amazon.com is one of them. So we are not going to let children in public libraries and schools visit Amazon? I have to agree with the author of this article:

If anything, schools and libraries should be encouraging kids to use blogging and social networking services. They have enormous educational potential for such things as writing, interviewing, collaborative research, media literacy, and photography, but even if not used as part of a formal supervised education program, they encourage kids to communicate and reach out to others.

read more here

I am running into some interesting characters, working in a public library. For example, just now we had to tell a patron at the listening station that he had to turn down the volume on the machine. We could hear Brittney Spears through the headphones. The guy was really nice about turning the music down, but then he said that when he listens to music it is transmitted to the whole world.

Interesting.

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