I'm just going to link to this post from April 2011. (4/20 no less.)
An MLS student in Portland, Ore., wants you to understand that even though you don't personally use them, libraries are thriving:
Today, depending on the community they serve, a public librarian is part educator, part social worker, and part Human Google. What they aren’t is a living anachronism, an out-of-touch holdout in a dying job who’s consigned to a desk, scolding kids for returning books a few days late.
An urban librarian in a struggling neighborhood, like Chera Kowalski in Philadelphia’s Kensington, is just as likely to be saving lives by giving Narcan to overdosed patrons as she is to be recommending a new Young Adult series. The new model of librarianship is about embracing more than just books—it’s about making a positive impact on the lives of patrons. My liberal use of the word “motherfucker” may have been the most popular aspect of my Twitter rant, but the most important was my message to LGBT teens, and to immigrants, and to the homeless and poor: The library is a safe place for you to come and get what you need.
Someone asked me why I got into libraries. My answer—though I’ve been “into” libraries my whole life—was simple: I believe in reducing barriers to better outcomes for marginalized and underserved populations, motherfucker.
It's hard to believe, but if you're trying to use public transit to get to an airport, you might want to use Bing Maps instead of Google:
Instead of advising you to take one of the “Airporter” buses from San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and San Jose International Airport to the north and south of the Bay Area, the app will propose a two- or three-step odyssey on Bay Area Rapid Transit rail and then local buses.
As Google describes things, putting those city-to-terminal routes into its mapping apps shouldn’t be that hard. A transit operator has to apply to be listed in Google Transit, publish its schedule in the standard General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format, and have Google run some quality tests on that feed before factoring it into directions.
Three Airporter services in the Bay Area, meanwhile, had not even gotten to that first step.
“Google has never reached out to us, but at the moment I don’t think we have our schedule in a compatible format,” David Hughes, charter manager at Marin Airporter, says via email. “We are currently working on a new website and we should have the formatting correct when it is published.”
By the way, Bing is not that bad in general. People use Google as their default (I do) but sometimes Bing has better results.
For Chicago, it's not as much of an issue, because the CTA Blue Line goes straight to O'Hare Terminals 1-2-3. But in this case, Google says I can take a bus to the Blue Line and be there in 58 minutes, while Bing doesn't seem to realize that my bus goes all the way to the Blue Line.
All of which suggests that you shouldn't rely entirely on one source of information.
President Trump's approval ratings have fallen to the lowest in his presidency:
Thirty eight percent of Americans say they approve of Trump’s job performance — down five points since September — while 58 percent disapprove.
Trump’s previous low in approval in the national NBC/WSJ poll was 39 percent back in May.
The drop for Trump has come from independents (who shifted from 41 percent approval in September to 34 percent now), whites (who went from 51 percent to 47 percent) and whites without a college degree (from 58 percent to 51 percent).
[A] near-majority of voters, 46 percent, say their vote in November 2018 will be to send a message for more Democrats to serve as a check and balance to Trump and congressional Republicans.
History will remember Trump (assuming anyone is alive after his presidency) as the worst of the 44 men to serve the office. Not that he cares.
While Catalonia starts a civil war in Spain, and glaciers in the Antarctic advance more and more rapidly each year, it's good to know that Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks can agree on something.
Sullivan: "This is what the Trump abyss looks like."
Brooks: "This is the week Trump won."
It's not really that bad. But it sure feels like it.
The Pew Research Center just released a massive study of American political attitudes:
The political typology reveals that even in a political landscape increasingly fractured by partisanship, the divisions within the Republican and Democratic coalitions may be as important a factor in American politics as the divisions between them.
In some cases these fissures are not new – they were evident in six previous Pew Research Center typology studies conducted over the past three decades, most recently in 2014. Yet, especially within the GOP, many of the divisions now center on the issues that have been front-and-center for Trump since he first launched his presidential campaign.
This study is based on surveys of more than 5,000 adults conducted over the summer. This was also the data source for our Oct. 6 report, “The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider.” These reports were made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts, which received support for the surveys from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Want to know where you fit? Take the quiz.
I made sure to take a photo of this while walking home from dinner last night:
But, really, the sign should now say AC000101. Because the Cubs lost the playoffs. Again.
After traveling last week and the week before for my current project, we've now spent five solid days workshopping all the stuff we learned. It's a lot. We covered three walls and four windows in a 3 x 4 meter conference room with post-its, and today we've shuffled them around twice. It's kind of exhausting, but also a comprehensive way of sharing a ton of data quickly.
All of this is by the way of saying I won't actually read a newspaper until tonight or tomorrow morning.
The Tribune has two sad stories this evening.
First, the FCC has taken steps to end the main-studio rule—apparently to allow the Sinclair/Tribune deal to go through:
The regulation, which was first adopted almost 80 years ago, requires broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. Known as the "main studio rule," the regulation ensured that residents of a community could have a say in their local broadcast station's operations.
"At a time when broadcast conglomerates like Sinclair are gobbling up more stations," the consumer advocacy group Free Press said in a regulatory filing on the matter in July, "the Commission's proposal would allow these conglomerates to move even more resources away from struggling communities and further centralize broadcasting facilities and staff in wealthier metropolitan areas."
Sinclair, the right-wing broadcaster, is currently trying to buy up Tribune Media in a $3.9 billion deal. The consolidation of the media industry has become a political flashpoint amid wider concerns about fake news and the polarization of news consumption. Even some conservatives have opposed the merger, on the grounds that it could limit the number of voices on the airwaves.
Meanwhile, with Whirlpool and Sears ending a century-old relationship, event the blind can see Sears is nearly dead:
Sears contends Whirlpool sought to “use its dominant position in the marketplace,” which would have “prohibited” the retailer from selling the appliances at a reasonable price, according to a memo addressed to Sears employees and sent to me by the company.
In response, Whirlpool CEO Marc Bitzer told investors on a conference call Tuesday that losing Sears is no biggie —only 3 percent of its global revenue.
“The entire Sears business declined over time,” he asserted.
It's 1895 all over again. Or 1885. I hope the latter, because then we only have to wait 20 years for the trusts to get busted.
Just a quick note. I've had a Fitbit for three years as of today, and so far, I've logged 14.4 million steps. My mean over 1,097 days is 13,170 steps per day, though my median is 12,616, reflecting the fact that I have a number of very-high-step days against almost none when I failed to hit 5,000. I've hit 10,000 on 949 days, 87% of the time.
And now I'm going to ratchet up another 4,000 on my way home.