The City of Boston will declare Thursday, April 9, as "Riot Grrrl Day" in honor of Kathleen Hanna's discussion later that night at the Wilbur Theatre. Hanna, a pivotal and influential figure in the Riot…
The 1 April snowpack survey indicates how much water California will have in its reservoirs after its wet season. For the first time in 75 years, the snow course contains no snow whatsoever. Governor Jerry Brown has ordered a 25% reduction in statewide water use as experts say a massive response is needed to confront California's drought, now running into its fourth year Continue reading...
"My intention wasn't to get rid of canned tuna and fish sticks"
In 2013, Fox News proudly broadcast an interview with a young food stamp recipient who claimed to be using the government benefit to purchase lobster and sushi.
"This is the way I want to live and I don’t really see anything changing," Jason Greenslate explained to Fox. “It’s free food; it’s awesome."
That story fit a longtime conservative suspicion that poor people use food stamps to purchase luxury items. Now, a Republican state lawmaker in Missouri is pushing for legislation that would stop people like Greenslate and severely limit what food stamp recipients can buy. The bill being proposed would ban the purchase with food stamps of "cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood or steak."
"The intention of the bill is to get the food stamp program back to its original intent, which is nutrition assistance," said Rick Brattin, the representative who is sponsoring the proposed legislation.
Curbing food stamp purchases of cookies, chips, energy drinks, and soft drinks at least falls in line with the food stamp program's mission to provide nutrition. Nutrition experts are already discussing whether to remove unhealthy items from the list of foods participants can buy.
But seafood and steak? Seafood has been shown, time and again, to be a healthy part of any diet. And steak is such a broad category that it's essentially banning people from buying any flat cuts of beef, from porterhouse to flank.
"It just seems really repressive," said Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University and author of the book Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America. "I don't see how it makes any sense to ban some of these foods. Fish is something that should really be in your diet. And steak, what does that mean in this context?"
Brattin admits that the language might need some tweaking. "My intention wasn't to get rid of canned tuna and fish sticks," he said. But he also insists that people are abusing the system by purchasing luxury foods, and believes that that must be stopped, even if it ends up requiring the inclusion of other less luxurious items.
"I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs with their EBT cards," he said. "When I can't afford it on my pay, I don't want people on the taxpayer's dime to afford those kinds of foods either."
Currently, a household of one can qualify for up to $194 dollars a month, or fewer than $7 dollars day, as part of SNAP, according to the Department of Agriculture. For a household of two, it's roughly twice that. For a household of three, it's about three times the amount.
It doesn't take too much math to figure out that foods like lobster aren't exactly within a recipient's budget. And it's also hard to draw conclusions based on a single purchase. What if that family that was purchasing a more expensive cut of meat had subsisted on cheaper canned goods for the past month in order to afford it?
Brattin's proposal is part of what Rank laments is a long history of stigmatizing food stamps and welfare programs in America. Ronald Reagan famously told the story of one "welfare queen" as though she were representative of the system at large. Rank says that today, the myth is perpetuated using similar anecdotes, like the Fox example, which he argued should be viewed as distortions of reality.
"There are some isolated cases of abuse, sure," said Rank. "But they are hardly representative of what the people struggling to get by on SNAP are actually buying... These people are spending their money extremely frugally."
Brattin says his bill is about making the food stamp program revolve around nutrition, but it also touches on more than that: whether poor people should be allowed to purchase foods that are deemed fancy. And Rank argues that this crosses a line.
"More than anything else, I think this is about controlling people," said Rank. "We should be treating people who are in poverty the same way we treat everyone else."
Stanford University expects families earning less than $125,000 will not have to pay tuition in the coming year. (AP/Paul Sakuma)
Stanford University has received a lot of attention for offering free tuition to students whose families make less than $125,000 — throwing in free room and board for those earning less than $65,000.
But there is a trend that could have a larger impact on college pricing. Small- and medium-sized private universities have been slashing tuition for all students in an effort to reverse sliding enrollment numbers. And while these schools are not as prestigious as Stanford, their willingness to cut prices could signal a shift in the cost of higher education.
Nearly a dozen private colleges reduced tuition for the current academic year. Southern Virginia University, for instance, cut tuition and fees 23 percent from $18,900 to $14,600 a year, while Converse College in South Carolina brought down its prices by 43 percent to $16,500 a year.
Back when these schools announced their plans in 2013, they said the new prices were closer to what most students were actually paying after factoring in grants and scholarships. Still, they said they expected the reduction in price to save money for most families.
Lowering tuition is a risky strategy for schools because families often equate price with prestige. To maintain the perception of quality, private universities got in the habit of raising tuition but offering deep discounts through scholarships and grants. About 89 percent of the freshmen class of 2013-2014 received enough aid to cover half of their tuition at private universities, according to a study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
But that high-tuition, deep-discount model is falling flat for small private colleges. Schools are failing to fill seats, which is bringing in less money. A recent survey by Moody's Investor Service found that 45 percent of private universities were anticipating declines in enrollment and another quarter expected revenue from tuition to dip. The board of Sweet Briar, a women's liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Va., recently voted to close the school because of severe budget shortfalls.
These smaller schools are under more pressure largely because they don't have the huge endowments of places like Harvard and Stanford. Those gold-plated schools enroll an outsize proportion of wealthy students and sit on multi-billion-dollar endowments that make it a lot easier to let some students forego tuition payments. (Stanford students will have to pay $5,000 each year, even if they qualify for the tuition benefit.)
Stanford has an endowment of $21 billion, compared to the median private college endowment of $26.2 million. The economic crisis pummeled the endowments of most colleges and universities, with many suffering 25 percent declines in value, according to an analysis of data from the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Many schools have not fully recovered.
There's no guarantee that lower costs will attract more students, and cutting prices won't solve the problem of rising costs. But the status quo doesn't appear sustainable. Families have grown sensitive to price increases in this uneven economic recovery. Tuition has risen faster than inflation at a time when wages have remained flat. If the schools that have cut prices start to see a few years of enrollment growth, more universities could get on board.
Spring is in the air and I have typefaces on the brain. For my staff pick this week I chose Type Faces and Production Techniques for CreatingEffective Advertisements, from 1952. This book was created by the Milwaukee Journal which is one of the predecessors
of the current Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (the other was the Sentinel, not surprisingly). It is a pretty standard print production
guide but I really like it for its examples of advertisements from the time and
the flashes of Milwaukee in the 1950’s that can be glimpsed from this
One of the best parts of Nintendo's Animal Crossing series is Kazumi Totaka's serene, beautiful background music, which changes based on the time of day you play. Animal Crossing Music, a fan-made extension for Google Chrome, duplicates that functionality right in your web browser.
Once installed, the extension adds a small icon of K.K. Slider to the upper-right corner of Chrome. Clicking that button will begin playing on loop the corresponding song for time of day according to your computer's system clock.
Best of all, the extension includes the soundtrack for every Animal Crossing title released so far, so you can pick the one you're most nostalgic for. By default, it'll even play random songs by K.K. Slider on Saturday nights, mimicking the charming dog's in-game concerts.
That was the topic discussed recently by OCLC Research Library Partners metadata managers, initiated by John Riemer of UCLA. Working in shared files is a critical efficiency to free up time to address new metadata needs and roles. Metadata managers who need to allocate staff to cover more objects of interest to researchers in the information landscape and at the same time preserve metadata describing this material have every incentive to consider working collaboratively, in shared files.
Libraries have tended to treat WorldCat as a resource to be further edited locally. The 2009 report Study of the North American MARC Record Marketplace bemoaned the “widespread resistance to the idea of simply accepting the work of another library.” We have been saddled with hundreds of copies of records across libraries and constrained to limit the amount of catalog maintenance done. When Kurt Groetsch described how Google was attempting to take advantage of library-created metadata during the 2010 ALA Midwinter meeting, he noted they “would like to find a way to get corrected records back into the library data ecosystem so that they don’t have to fix them again.” The linked data environment offers a new opportunity to create and maintain metadata only once and simply pointed to by all interested parties.
The discussions revolved around these themes:
Sharing edited records: In general, staff focus on only editing records that affect access points. Most libraries accept vendor records or records for shelf-ready books without review. Vendor records may need to be modified for the data to be consistent and linked. Vendor records are of varying quality, some of which hinder access. It was suggested that libraries can advocate vendors’ contracting the metadata creation with OCLC as part of their purchase negotiations. [Note: Focus group member Carlen Ruschoff of University of Maryland served on the cross-industry group that identified problems in the data quality in the content supply chain and gave practical recommendations for improved usage, discovery and access of e-content. See the 2014 OCLC white paper, Success Strategies for Electronic Content Discovery and Access.]
Policies and practices have been put in place to stop staff from doing what they don’t have to do. “Reuse rather than modify.” But it can be difficult to stop some staff from investing in correcting minor differences between AACR2 and RDA that don’t matter, such as pagination. One approach is to assign those staff important tasks (create metadata for a new digital collection for example) so that they just don’t have time to take on these minor tasks as well. Not everyone can accept records “as is”, but with all the effort the community has invested in common cataloging standards and practices, if we all “do it right the first time” we should be able to accept others’ records without review or editing.
When edits are applied to local system records, or other databases such as national union catalogs, the updated records are not contributed to WorldCat. The University of Auckland uses four databases: the local database, the New Zealand National Union Catalogue, WorldCat and the Alma “community zone” available only to other Ex Libris catalogers. When Library of Congress records are corrected in WorldCat, the corrections are not reflected in the LC database. When OCLC loads LC’s updated records, any changes that had been made in the WorldCat records are wiped out. We need to get better at synchronizing data with WorldCat. Perhaps updated “statements” can be shared more widely in a linked data environment?
Sharing data in centralized and distributed models: Discussants were divided whether a centralized file would be needed in a future linked data environment where WorldCat became a place where people could simply point to. Developers say there is no need for a centralized file; data could be distributed with peer-to-peer sharing. Others feel that a centralized file provides provenance, and thus confidence and trustworthiness. How would you be able to gauge trustworthiness if you don’t have that provenance pointing you to an authoritative source?
The OCLC Expert Community expanded the pool of labor able to make contributions to the WorldCat master records. This offers a new opportunity for focus group members who have been working primarily in their local systems. OCLC’s discontinuation of Institution Records is prompting some focus group members who have been using them to rethink their workflows, determine what data represents “common ground” and consider using WorldCat as the database of record. The OCLC WorldShare Metadata Collection Manager treats WorldCat records as a database of record and allows libraries to receive copies of changed records. It was noted that controlling WorldCat headings by linking to the authority file obviates the need for “authority laundering” by third-parties.
Importance of provenance: Certain sources are more trusted and give catalogers confidence in their accuracy. Libraries often have a list of “preferred sources” (also known as “white lists”.) Some select sources based on the type of material that is being cataloged, for example, Oxford, Yale and Harvard were mentioned as a trusted source for copy cataloging old books on mathematics. Another criteria is to choose the WorldCat record which has the most holdings as source copy.
Sharing statements: Everyone welcomes the move to use identifiers instead of text strings. Identifiers could solve the problem of names appearing in documents harvested from the Web, electronic theses and dissertations, encoded archival aids, etc. not matching those used in catalog records and the authority file. Different statements might be correct in their own contexts; it would be up to the individual or library which one to use, based on what you want to present to your users. In a linked data world one can swap one set of identifiers with another set of identifiers if you want to make local changes. In the aggregate, there would be tolerance for “conflicting statements” which might represent different world views; at the local implementation level you may want to select the statements from your preferred sources. Librarians can share their expertise by establishing the relationships between and among statements from different sources.
Some consider creating identifiers for names as one of their highest priorities, spurred by the increased interest in Open Access. For researchers not represented in authority files, libraries have started considering implementing ORCIDs or ISNIs. [See the 2014 OCLC Research report, Registering Researchers in Authority Files.]
With seven million people, Hong Kong is the 4th most densely populated places in the world. However, plain numbers never tell the full story. In his ‘Architecture of Density’ photo series, German photographer Michael Wolf explores the jaw-dropping urban landscapes of Hong Kong. He rids his photographs of any context, removing any sky or horizon line from the frame and flattening the space until it becomes a relentless abstraction of urban expansion, with no escape for the viewer’s eye. Infinite and haunting.
The ISAW library recently received a copy of Nebukadnezar III/IV by Jürgen Lorenz, which assembles the primary sources for two little-known political upstarts in the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BCE). The two rebel Nebuchadnezzars—and all the other would-be contenders in ancient history—pose a problem for libraries and researchers: how do we catalog and search for history's losers?
Loehr has recently stopped taking on new clients in order to shift her focus toward teaching. "I'm really focused on the sewing community, getting them sewing their own undergarments."
To that end, she's written a book with the word "demystifying" in the title and published a handsome, versatile bra pattern named after Marlborough Street in Boston's Back Bay.
She's planning to name all her patterns for Boston streets. "I really try to align the street with the underlying intention for the pattern. Isn't Marlborough a pretty street that many of us use every day?"
The co-creator of the original series has left the Showtime sequel, but the cable channel continue to ‘hold out hope’ Lynch may reverse his decision
David Lynch has confirmed he will not be directing a sequel to the cult series Twin Peaks after a disagreement over money with a TV network.
The film-maker and co-creator of the original 1990’s show said on Twitter Sunday: “After one year and four months of negotiations, I left because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done.”
We were saddened to read David Lynch’s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points. Showtime also loves the world of Twin Peaks and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.
Les deux compères moscovites Dasha & Olya réalisent de somptueux cinémagraphes, cousin germain du GIF animé. Le procédé est simple, lorsque l’une prépare à manger, l’autre photographie et force est de constater que l’alchimie fonctionne tant leurs créations ouvrent l’appétit.
What would be the ideal menswear store? The editors of Apparel Arts thought they knew. In 1936, they published “Permanent Modern,” a fourteen-page article introducing their vision of modern menswear retailing.
The article spares little in details. Included are elaborate floor plans and descriptions of the materials that should be used for the architecture, fixtures, and display cases. According to the editors, things should look modern, but not “voguish modern,” as you want to catch the customer’s eye, yet also make the place feel inviting. They even specified the lighting and air conditioning systems (two whole pages were dedicated to that). Should the reader want to implement their vision, they included a directory for the contractors, suppliers, and equipment manufacturers who could help with the store’s construction.
The store they imagined was grand – something like a Saks Fifth Avenue, but solely dedicated to men. On the first floor, you have accessories and footwear. Low, countertop cases are used to display ties, pocket squares, and gloves. The departments for hats and shoes are sectioned off from the main accessories floor, so as to provide customers with a certain level of privacy. Replacing the old-fashioned theatre-chair seating arrangements in the footwear department is a group of modern, upholstered wall seats. And in the hat department, the display cases are designed so that they can be easily used to promote gifts during the holiday season.
Below is the basement, which is partly dedicated to shipping and receiving, as well as holding inventory and equipment. There’s also a large club lounge, which takes up most of the floor. Here, fruitwood furniture and brown/ white upholstered sofas decorate the main space. A bar sits at one end of the room, while a copper mantel fireplace is located at the other. Green carpet runs throughout.
The club is meant to be a space where customers can come in, relax, and have a drink, but they can also enjoy the valet service, barber shop, and provisions for massage, showers, and lockers. The basement has its own exits, which lead out to the sidewalks just beyond the front of the store, so that men can stay after-hours, even when the store itself is closed.
In a strange (and seemingly needless) plan, the editors also imagined that the first floor’s display windows could be mechanically lowered to the basement, where employees would do their trimming before raising them back up again. Why workers couldn’t just bring their materials up to the displays, I have no idea.
The second floor is devoted to sport and university clothing, with separate sections for each. There’s also a small area for robes and dressing gowns. In the above two images, you can see the imagined interiors of the sport and university shops. Along the wall are two tiers of clothing, with the lower one being enclosed.
The third floor is dedicated to high-end tailoring, with moderate priced clothing occupying the fourth. The back of these floors have sections for seasonal promotions and in-house alterations services. The front half is where the rest of the clothing is displayed, with a small lounge area separating the two. Lounges, I imagine, are necessary since we have four massive floors dedicated to men’s style at this point.
The fifth floor has two main divisions – the boys’ shop and the prep shop, with a lounge (again) separating the two. The boys shop has an animated and playful feeling, while the prep shop shows more dignity and restraint. The prep shop, as you can see, is mainly dedicated to tailored clothing, which – for boys of high-school age – has almost all but disappeared.
Finally, since trekking through five floors (six, if you came from the basement’s club lounge) must be tiring, the top-most floor has a penthouse restaurant with an open air dining terrace. Apparel Arts’ editors imagined that the terrace could be converted into a skating rink in the wintertime, for showing apparel on live models.
“Permanent Modern” was supposed to be an enduring concept of modern menswear retailing, but such massive commercial complexes feel so archaic now. For many men, including myself, places such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus feel too impersonal, which is why many have gone to smaller and more specialized boutiques.
The best menswear store I’ve seen is Battistoni. Rather than modern, it feels old-school – the wood-paneled walls, marble floors, and fine art lend a sort of a rarified air, and the shop consists of just a single floor (not six) with small, separate rooms dedicated to different goods. Supposedly, the place used to be something of a salon, where men would drink and trade gossip while they got measured. The owner of Battistoni once told me Humphrey Bogart came so often that he asked if he could leave a bottle of whiskey for himself here, but who knows if that’s just lore.
In any case, I guess tailored clothing can be timeless, but taste in retail changes.
Tea leaves collected from Boston harbor the morning after the Boston Tea Party.
“Tea that was gathered up on the Shore of Dorchester Neck on the morning after the destruction of the three Cargos at Boston December 17, 1773.”
i’m so pleased that this means someone during the event was like “yeah this is probably gonna be historically interesting” and just ran out there with, like, what, a net? some cloth? fishing around in the fucking bay to collect tea to put in a bottle? you go, buddy
Good job, anonymous 18th century person. Your commitment to historic preservation pleases me.
I don't know what this app does but obviously I need it
Diese Location-Based-Services-App präsentiert eine einzigartige Vielfalt multimedialer Informationen zum berühmten „Märchenkönig“ Ludwig II. von Bayern. Die App bietet faszinierende Augmented Reality Features, u.a. 3D-Mustererkennung, die in Echtzeit digitale Objekte direkt am Standort des Betrachters in das Kamerabild des iPhones einblenden. Als unentbehrlicher Begleiter zu den Schlössern, Orten und Ereignissen im Leben Ludwigs II. ist die App ein Must-Have für jeden Ludwig-Fan und alle historisch und touristisch Interessierten „auf den Spuren des Märchenkönigs“. Nahezu alle Inhalte der App sind auch offline nutzbar. Die App ist ein Angebot der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek in Kooperation mit der Bayerischen Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.