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Legislation!  It's what establishes the position of Poet Laureate!

Happy National Poetry Month!

Amazing "Library Titles" Race for library instruction

“The Ass is Dead! Long Live the Ass!”

Do I have your attention?

Good. That is the point of a library instruction workshop game that requires students to unscramble a book title, search the catalog to find its location, and retrieve it from the shelves. “The Rebellion of The Beasts: Or, the Ass is Dead! Long Live the Ass!” is a sample title.

Stanford University Libraries (SUL) supports the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) by offering library instruction workshops that include a walking tour of the library as well as an introduction to library resources. These library workshops are designed to support PWR’s objective to guide students in developing analytical and research-based argument skills. The library workshops are usually just a one-shot class that lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes; this is the duration of most classes.

Music note

A copy of the Sherman & Hyde Musical Review (San Francisco, 1874) came across my desk and I happened upon this "artikel" written in tongue-and-cheek defense of the shape-note singing technique (aka, "skuare notes"), which was apparently looked down on by 'properly trained' musicians--"Round Heds", who read music with the standard round-head notation. The Music Library has a number of of shape-note singing primers, which were the subject of a 2012 exhibit on Early American Tune Books. Several titles have been digitized; see The Easy Instructor for examples of shape-note notation.

Thomas Edison listening to a wax cylinder, 1888

About two months ago, I accidentally wandered into an antique shop in Fairfax, California. Inside there was a seemingly random arrangement of kipple which the shopkeeper clearly understood. It was as if I had discovered a surreptitious vault in an Indiana Jones movie filled with gleaming mounds of treasure, a glut of pearls and gold, a feast for the eyes*. I hesitated, unsure of where to start, slightly concerned that something would fall on me.

Happy Birthday to Aldous Huxley, born July 26, 1894!

“There are things known and there are things unknown and in between are the doors of perception.”
-Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley is widely known as the author of Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, and Island. Did you know he was also the grandson of scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice (1940), lectured on the “Human Potential” at The Esalen Institute in the 1960’s, and was once Eric Arthur Blair’s French teacher at Eton College before Eric went on to write 1984 and Animal Farm with the pen name George Orwell?

Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries has a sketchbook, which Huxley used when he was 17 years old. Dated March 7-July 6, 1912, it is possible that Huxley brought the sketchbook along with him during his travels through Marburg, Germany before attending Oxford University in the fall of 1913.

Steve Schneider [photographer unknown].

Dr. Steve Schneider was inspired to be involved in climate change and global warming in part because of Earth Day.

Like his eco-ally Carl Sagan, Schneider was a scientist able to Successfully get information to the public. Sagan had his television show Cosmos (recently revitalized by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan—check your local listings).

Schneider wrote popular science books, did radio interviews around the world and appeared in movies and on television.

Here he is with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show on July 19, 1977.  Clip courtesy of  UCAR/NCAR. 

Stephen Henry Schneider

Dr. Steve Schneider talks about how he became interested in earth systems and in atmospheric research in this excerpt from an interview done by Gray Thompson in 1992

“I was actually born in New York City. I didn’t live in it until I went back to Columbia University 17 years later. And I grew up in [Woodmere,] Long Island. And what I remember enjoying a lot about Long Island before the developers hacked down all the woods was getting dropped off in a square mile of woods which I used to call “the deep, dark forest…” and run around and just enjoy streams and nature.

Did you know there were 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence? You can read more about them and other Independence Day facts in this Fourth of July Facts for Features from the United States Census Bureau.

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