August 2004 Archives


I've noticed an increase in the use of "whatnot" and the speaker tends to be young women between 20 and 35. I haven't heard it this often since my mother was around. It reminds me of knick-knack, as in shelf (though I'm not sure of the spelling) and nitwit. There must be yet another word just to describe this phenomenon.

Thankfully, "like" seems to be subsiding, and as tiresome as it was, young people especially were using "like" as a substitute for words that escaped them, which for awhile seemed to be much of the entire English/American lexicon.
Whatnot, on the other hand, is more like etcetera.

Flamenco Project

Flamenco Search Interface Project
Here's how they describe their project, but I'd recommend just taking a look - it might be easier to catch on that way! (in a nutshell - so far they have two great visual information databases you can search - and that makes it special in my book).

"The Flamenco search interface framework has the primary design goal of allowing users to move through large information spaces in a flexible manner without feeling lost. A key property of the interface is the explicit exposure of category metadata, guide the user toward possible choices, and to organize the results of keyword searches."

Church denies communion to 8 year old girl

Communion Mom Looks To Vatican (CBS)

Girl with digestive disease denied Communion (NBC)

An eight year old child's communion is being invalidated because the communion wafer didn't contain wheat. How ironic to read about the church invalidating a child's communion when yesterday's gospel talked about Jesus healing on the Sabbath. Well, I confess that I gave up on the Catholic church hierarchy years ago and this is yet another sad example of why I'd never go back. I joined the Lutheran church and a liberal congregation (Reconciled in Christ, among other things) so perhaps yesterday's gospel in my church wasn't read in Catholic churches yesterday, but I remember hearing it as a kid - Jesus reminds his critics that the law serves us, not the other way around. And I am well aware of many Catholics - priests and nuns included, however many there are left of them - who would agree. It's unfortunate that the networks have to pick up this kind of bad news about the church, but maybe their stories can serve as a catalyst for change.

Let's all pray for the Vatican to make a WWJD decision.


A few weeks ago I briefly felt caught up and - almost - bored. That lasted about a week. Now, I'm scurrying around, trying to make sure everything will be ready for the start of Fall semester. It's particularly difficult to do that during this session break, because the library closes at 6 p.m. One has to schedule a late bathroom break right before 6 in order to stay beyond closing.

We get busy even before classes start, because students are starting to come to campus and check out the library - what's where, does the library own my textbook (usually, it does not). All the guides and Web pages need to be reviewed over the summer to be sure they are accurate. But often it is over the summer that changes occur, so the guides and pages cannot be finalized until the changes are finalized. So, we do the very best we can to keep up with changes on campus, in our buildings, in our services, our database names, etc. Resources like Research QuickStart make that process easier by running off a database that can make global changes with a single keystroke (or something almost that simple!) Other changes are more challenging, but - in my mind - that's what August is for!

So you may not see much change in my blog, because I'll be busy elsewhere!

For now = take a look at

Guthrie :

MN Artists Organization:


Looking for a way to get involved? Check this out:

Beans about Coffee

As long as I'm on the topic of coffee, I want to reassure you that I'm not fond of chains. In fact, I am aghast at Caribou for moving in across the street from Brewberry's on Randolph in St. Paul. I plan to visit Brewberry's more often just to show my support.

My walking group at church has opened up some new opportunities for coffee and friendships. I've discovered two new independent coffee shops since starting the group about a month ago. There's little reason to go to Caribou or Starbucks when these great little places exist.

Bean Factory
1518 Randolph Av
651-699-7788 St Paul, Minnesota 55105

The Bean Factory is a comfortable, casual neighborhood spot with a sweet patio facing the side street off Randolph. It's located near St. Patrick's Guild and my pal Eloise introduced me to the place after walking group last week.

Last night we walked around half of the Highland Golf Course and stopped at Sisu for coffee. The only place in town to offer egg coffee year round (yes, you can probably still find it at the Minnesota State Fair, ten days a year). Egg coffee is a Swedish standard beverage and fans love it. We learned from the women who run this coffee house that Sisu is a Finnish word for courage - strength - perseverance - etc. You can even buy a mug with all the English translations of Sisu. It is a clean, comfy convenient spot with Scandinavian furniture plus magazines, games and - surprisingly - metallic art on the walls. (Sisu is not to be confused with Finn-Sisu Racing Equipment on 1841 University Ave W. ) Sisu Coffee & Tea is just down the street from Bleach, a great hair salon - try it if you're looking for a new stylist. The owner, Shelley, is fantastic!

Sisu Coffee & Tea
649 Snelling Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116
651 695-1960

655 Snelling Ave S
St Paul, MN
(651) 695-9200

And coincidentally a colleague writes on the staff underground email, The Burrow, that her husband runs a coffee shop called Kilted Coffee; read about it in the Skyway News:

Kilted Coffee
1410 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis (just south of downtown, across the street from the Music Box Theater).

Kilted Coffee features the usual hot and cold beverages (plus some unusual ones), as well as sandwiches, soups, pastries, and - ooh! hand-made chocolates. As the name suggests, the theme is Scottish/Celtic, and he plans to regularly feature live performances of Celtic music. To which Lara adds:

Jokes to Java

This article is featured in today's U of M News:
A Laughing Matter
How wonderful to see humor applauded. Humor is important not just in health care but here at the University. And often it is harder to find in academe.
It isn't always easy to convince people that such entertaining things as humor, fun or, say, coffee are acceptable in an academic library. But people are human, comprised of many components and capable of multi-tasking.

For students faced with dry topics (library research methods, perhaps?), the right touch of humor can help retain focus.

Similarly, when students come here to study or - soon - to work on their projects by using software like PhotoShop and Word and other production tools, they are likely to stay longer if coffee and snacks are nearby.

I am not saying we have to mimic Barnes and Noble. There are things about that chain that irk me, and I have some firsthand experience, if you're interested. (I have it even if you're not). But you have to admit that BN had vision when they paired up with Starbucks. Reading and coffee are an appealing combination for many people.

Back to humor, there are just 49* results this morning from a MNCAT search for the keywords humor and research (adjacency not required!). Read on for a few of the listings:

light and airy thought for the day

Is it possible that Chuck Lorre's vanity cards at the end of Dharma & Greg episodes were the first blogs?

The first time I watched a Dharma & Greg show I was on an airplane. Perhaps for that reason - so light and airy it was even without the overhead TV monitor turned on, and much more so with the monitor on - I wondered how anyone could watch this show on a regular basis.

Now I do. Understand. Watch. Yes.

The President reads

They reported on the morning news that the President is reading the report of the 9/11 Commission. I would hope so. I was suprised he had not finished it. Instead the broadcast noted the number of pages, as if to explain why the President of the United States is having difficulty finishing the book. In his case, it does.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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