On the Run

Sep. 29th, 2014 04:05 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
First things first: If you pick up Sarah Beth Durst’s Chasing Power expecting it to be the next Conjured, you’re going to be disappointed. Of course, that statement holds for ANY other book, regardless of author or hype: Conjured is an absolutely original, beautifully written and intricately crafted genre-bender that is special in every way—perspective, character development, worldbuilding, imagery, love story—as well as showing a profound respect for the intelligence and patience of the audience. But enough about Conjured, right?

Scott Westerfeld

Sep. 26th, 2014 04:25 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
There’s a school of thought in literary criticism that maintains that it’s impossible to understand an author’s intent—it’s actually called the “intentional fallacy.” As a book critic, I mostly subscribe to it; to me, what the author may have been trying to do is a lot less important than what the book actually does and how readers might understand it. But as I was reading Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds, I found myself desperate to understand his intent in writing it.

A Terrible Toad Problem

Sep. 26th, 2014 04:04 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
It’s a good thing when Bob Shea and Lane Smith collaborate. The last time they did so was in 2008 with Big Plans, which Bob wrote and Lane illustrated. They also created a blog called Curious Pages (“recommended inappropriate books for kids”), which celebrates subversive picture books and which I love with an undying devotion. It’s rarely updated, which is fine—hey, I’m sure they’re busy guys—and I just keep crossing fingers that it never goes away. And if it ever does? La la la, I’ll have my fingers in my ears and will pretend that didn’t actually happen.
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

If you live in Alaska, want to vote in the November 4, 2014 election, but are not registered to vote, you need to get registered before OCTOBER 5, 2014. You can get registration information and forms from the Division of Elections voter registration page. You may mail, fax or e-mail your signed registration form to a regional election office. You can also try registering with your cell phone through a student developed site called vote-ak.us, which will also allow you request an absentee ballot.

Why would you want to vote this November? Aside from the state offices being voted on, the US Senate race may determine which party takes control of Congress. Also, there are three initiatives being voted on:

For more election information, including candidate statements and the full text of the initiatives being voted on, see the Official Election Pamphlet.

If you want to have a voice in any of this, you need to register to vote if you haven’t already. If you don’t live in Alaska, you can learn more about when to register and what’s at stake in your state by visiting usa.gov’s Register to Vote and Elections page.

 

 

 


Filed under: alaska, civics
[syndicated profile] paciello_a11y_feed

Posted by Steve Faulkner

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting at the 2nd MakingWeb conference in Norway, I talked about web components.

Web Component Accessibility

The key points I attempted to convey during the presentation:

An accessible, usable UI is a MUST

UI accessibility is not an accessory, a ‘nice to have’. If a UI is not accessible it’s incomplete, substandard, half baked – a neckbeard UI

There are no new demons

There is nothing inherent within web components as a technology that makes it harder to build usable and accessible UI’s

The challenges remain the same

The challenges with web components are pretty much the same as what we have dealt with for years with HTML/JavaScript custom controls

Build accessibility in from the start

The slide deck

Related reading

Fending for Ourselves

Sep. 25th, 2014 06:36 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Sib isn’t a model, isn’t interested in modeling, and isn’t a conventional beauty, but her advertising executive godmother sees SOMETHING in her, and suddenly, her face is “plastered all over a massive billboard at St. Kilda junction.” Shortly thereafter, Ben Capaldi, the most popular boy in school, sees that same SOMETHING, too...but Sib isn’t quite sure if that SOMETHING he sees has to do with her, or with the perfume ad.
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

In November 2014, Alaskan voters will be asked whether to legalize marijuana use for people over 21. It is 2014 Ballot Measure 2 and I will be voting yes. I am telling you this despite my reluctance to comment on State of Alaska issues because I think this is a matter of justice.

 

I am voting yes because: Alcohol is more harmful than marijuana.

If alcohol is legal, so should marijuana. According to the CDC:

Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. This dangerous behavior accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.

88,000 deaths from over drinking. Per year. That’s nearly 30 9/11s each and every year. But we accept these deaths as the price of liberty. Or we don’t accept them but realize that Prohibition has been tried and failed in this country. By contrast, there are zero documented deaths from marijuana. It’s hard prove a negative, but:

If you can find a reliable (sourced from a peer-reviewed journal or government publication) that can attribute more than 88,000 deaths per year to marijuana products, leave a comment with full citation.

Aside from being deadly to people who drink, alcohol is associated with higher likelihood of domestic violence, while marijuana is not.

I have personal and painful experience to the power of alcohol to produce violence and misery. My father beat my mom and my siblings, usually while drunk. I do not recall being beaten, but I lived in perpetual fear of being next. I was drunkenly cussed out many times and Christmas time was usually more pleasant if he was out on a drunk.  I actually had nightmares involving my drunk father for several years after I moved away from home. So again, if we can allow something as poisonous to family life as alcohol in our society, I’d be grateful to legalize something that wasn’t quite as violence stimulating.

In addition to being less harmful than alcohol, it appears that legalizing marijuana, at least for medical use actually decreases deaths from painkiller overdoses by about 25%.

Marijuana use does have its risks. Check out any of the fact sheets I’ve linked to. I’m just saying they pale in comparison to the chaos and death rained down upon us all by alcohol. We manage to keep society mostly intact despite alcohol’s assault. Marijuana will be a cinch to handle in comparison.

 

I am voting yes because: Too many lives have been ruined by possession arrests and convictions.

Once you get caught up in the justice system, it’s easy to get into a downward spiral. You get a drug conviction and people find excuses not to hire you. You may no longer be eligible to go to college. You might go to prison for a simple possession offense and learn new ways of crime while behind bars.

According to the Alaska State Troopers 2012 Drug Report, over 3,000 marijuana related arrests were made between 2010 and 2012. For a drug with no known overdose deaths and which isn’t associated with domestic violence. I think that it is a tragedy that thousands of lives were fed into our justice system for this.

Nationally, marijuana arrests disproportionately fall on people of color. According to the ACLU, “Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.” In some states, Blacks are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. We need to ditch something that has so much racial bias in its application.

 

I am voting yes because: I lean libertarian.

As a matter of principle, I don’t think the State has any business regulating consensual conduct that does not harm others. Your freedom to swing your fist may end at my nose, but you’re free to go up to that limit. For example, marijuana should be included in DUI laws. I don’t care if you smoke a few joints in your home. But if you then hop in your car and start driving, that’s a risk to others that can and should be regulated.

 

Those are the reasons that I will vote to legalize marijuana in this state. I believe people of good will can come to a different conclusion. So if you’re a friend of mine who is a “no” voter, I’m ok with that, though I expect you to be willing to agree to disagree.

 

References:

Summary of 2014 Ballot Measure 2 – http://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/bml/BM2-13PSUM-ballot-language.pdf

Official Election Pamphlet General Election 2014, Book I – http://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/oep/2014/AK-Region-I-book.pdf – Ballot Measure 2 begins on page 63 of the booklet. While the State provided a cost estimate for regulating marijuana, it did not include any information from the Department of Corrections. A recently Fairbanks News-Miner article estimated it cost $50,000 a year to house a prisoner, so any costs from legalizing marijuana would be partially offset from the savings realized by not putting marijuana users and small dealers away.

CDC Alcohol Deaths – http://www.cdc.gov/features/alcohol-deaths/

DrugFacts: Marijuana – http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs – Alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances. By Robert Gable. New Scientist. May-June 2006, Volume 94, Number 3, Page: 206, DOI: 10.1511/2006.3.206 – http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/the-toxicity-of-recreational-drugs/1

Fewer Painkiller Deaths in States With Medical Marijuana: Study People with chronic pain may use pot instead of narcotics, researchers suggest
Monday, August 25, 2014, Health Day News
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_148041.html

Cost of housing state’s prison population has senators seeking sentencing reform
Posted: Fairbanks Daily News Miner. Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:02 am | Updated: 5:42 am, Mon Oct 7, 2013.
By Matt Buxton/mbuxton@newsminer.com
URL: Not listed because too long. Click on title for story.

2012 Drug Report. Alaska State Troopers.  –  http://www.dps.alaska.gov/AST/ABI/docs/SDEUreports/2012%20Annual%20Drug%20Report.pdf

Marijuana Arrests by the Numbers. ACLUhttps://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/marijuana-arrests-numbers

 


Filed under: Activism, alaska, current events Tagged: alcohol, elections, marijuana

#WeNeedDiverseElves

Sep. 24th, 2014 09:51 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
The good news is that Santa is an equal-opportunity employer. The bad news is that I didn’t realize the extent of it.

Jandy Nelson

Sep. 23rd, 2014 09:22 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
The twin protagonists of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun are bursting with artistic potential and emotion and insight and desire that’s absolutely dazzling. Noah and Jude Sweetwine, at times so close they’re NoahandJude, are two of the brightest lights in YA fiction—which makes it especially curious that Nelson wrote their story in the dark.

Meet the New Gumshoes in Town

Sep. 22nd, 2014 03:24 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
This month, we say goodbye to two of my favorite amateur sleuths: Sammy Keyes, in Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, the 18th(!) mystery starring Santa Martina’s most hard-boiled middle schooler; and Kami Glass, in Unmade, the third installment in Sarah Rees Brennan’s it’ll-make-you-laugh-out-loud-while-ripping-your-heart-to-shreds Lynburn Legacy. For the past week or so, I’ve been putting off my final farewell to Sammy by re-reading all of her previous adventures. As I don’t have that luxury in the case of the Lynburn Legacy (A. It’s a mere trilogy, and B. Must read Unmade IMMEDIATELY due to the HORRIBLY PAINFUL CLIFFHANGER at the end of the second book), I’ve prepared for my inevitable bereftness by making a list of some new sleuths on the block*:
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Charles Brownstein gives the same gift whenever a friend or family member’s child turns 10—a volume of Jeff Smith’s graphic novel Bone. It’s not a careless, one-size-fits-all kind of gift. Quite the opposite. As executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and a member of the steering committee for the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27), Brownstein is an expert in his field and a big fan of the book. He has also seen Bone removed from schools and libraries, something he can’t quite understand.

A Gift from the Sea

Sep. 19th, 2014 04:55 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I love to keep my eye on picture book imports, those books originally published overseas and then brought here in American editions. It’s always intriguing to note which ones are chosen for English translations, what they’re like, and how they differ from American picture book titles.

Capturing a Ballerina's Beauty

Sep. 18th, 2014 04:37 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
In the Author’s Note of her new picture book, Firebird, ballet dancer Misty Copeland notes that when she read ballet books as a child, she didn’t see herself. “I saw an image of what a ballerina should be, and she wasn’t me, brown faced.” Firebird is her attempt to change that, to give children one more ballet book featuring people of color. There simply aren’t many of these books on shelves.
[syndicated profile] library_tech_jester_feed

Posted by Peter Murray

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In the DLTJ Thursday Threads this week: an analysis of how external services included on library web pages can impact patron privacy, pointers to a series of helpful posts from OCLC on communication between software users and software developers, and lastly an update on the continuing discussion of the Kuali Foundation Board’s announcement forming a commercial entity.

Before we get started on this week’s threads, I want to point out a free online symposium that LYRASIS is performing next week on sustainable cultural heritage open source software. Details are on the FOSS4Lib site, you can register on the LYRASIS events site, and then join the open discussion on the discuss.foss4lib.org site before, during and after the symposium.

Feel free to send this to others you think might be interested in the topics. If you find these threads interesting and useful, you might want to add the Thursday Threads RSS Feed to your feed reader or subscribe to e-mail delivery using the form to the right. If you would like a more raw and immediate version of these types of stories, watch my Pinboard bookmarks (or subscribe to its feed in your feed reader). Items posted to my Pinboard bookmarks are also sent out as tweets; you can follow me on Twitter. Comments and tips, as always, are welcome.

Analysis of Privacy Leakage on a Library Catalog Webpage

My post last month about privacy on library websites, and the surrounding discussion on the Code4Lib list prompted me to do a focused investigation, which I presented at last weeks Code4Lib-NYC meeting.
I looked at a single web page from the NYPL online catalog. I used Chrome developer tools to trace all the requests my browser made in the process of building that page. The catalog page in question is for The Communist Manifesto. It’s here: http://nypl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/18235020052907_communist_manifesto. …

So here are the results.

- Analysis of Privacy Leakage on a Library Catalog Webpage, by Eric Hellman, Go To Hellman, 16-Sep-2014

Eric goes on to note that he isn’t criticizing the New York Public Library, but rather looking at a prominent system with people who are careful of privacy concerns — and also because NYPL was the host of the Code4Lib-NYC meeting. His analysis of what goes on behind the scenes of a web page is illuminating, though, and how all the careful work to protect patron’s privacy while browsing the library’s catalog can be brought down by the inclusion of one simple JavaScript widget.

Series of Posts on Software Development Practices from OCLC

This is the first post in a series on software development practices. We’re launching the series with a couple of posts aimed at helping those who might not have a technical background communicate their feature requests to developers.

- Software Development Practices: What's the Problem?, by Shelly Hostetler, OCLC Developer Network, 22-Aug-2014

OCLC has started an excellent set of posts on how to improve communication between software users and software developers. The first three have been posted so far with another one expected today:

  1. Software Development Practices: What's the Problem?
  2. Software Development Practices: Telling Your User's Story
  3. Software Development Practices: Getting Specific with Acceptance Criteria

I’ve bookmarked them and will be referring to them when talking with our own members about software development needs.

Kuali 2.0 Discussion Continues

…I thought of my beehives and how the overall bee community supports that community/ hive. The community needs to be protected, prioritized, supported and nourished any way possible. Each entity, the queen, the workers and the drones all know their jobs, which revolve around protecting supporting and nourishing the community.

Even if something disrupts the community, everyone knows their role and they get back to work in spite of the disruption. The real problem within the Kuali Community, with the establishment of the Kuali Commercial Entity now is that various articles, social media outlets, and even the communication from the senior Kuali leadership to the community members, have created a situation in which many do not have a good feel for their role in protecting, prioritizing, supporting and nourishing the community.

- The Evolving Kuali Narrative, by Kent Brooks, “I was just thinking”, 14-Sep-2014

The Kuali Foundation Board has set a direction for our second decade and at this time there are many unknowns as we work through priorities and options with each of the Kuali Project Boards. Kuali is a large and complex community of many institutions, firms, and individuals. We are working with projects now and hope to have some initial roadmaps very soon.

- Updates – Moving at the Speed of Light, by Jennifer Foutty, Kuali 2.0 Blog, 17-Sep-2014

As the library community that built a true next-generation library management system, the future of OLE’s development and long-term success is in our hands. We intend to continue to provide free and open access to our community designed and built software. The OLE board is strongly committed to providing a community driven option for library management workflow.

- Open Library Environment (OLE) & Kuali Foundation Announcement, by Bruce M. Taggart (Board Chair, Open Library Environment (OLE)), 9-Sep-2014

Building on previous updates here, the story of the commercialization of the Kuali collaborative continues. I missed the post from Bruce Taggart in last week’s update, and for the main DLTJ Thursday Threads audience this status update from the Open Library Environment project should be most interesting. Given the lack of information, it is hard not to parse each word of formal statements for underlying meanings. In the case of Dr. Taggart’s post about OLE, I’m leaning heavily on wondering what “community designed and built software” means. The Kuali 2.0 FAQ still says “the current plan is for the Kuali codebase to be forked and relicensed under the Affero General Public License (AGPL).” As Charles Severance points out, the Affero license can be a path to vendor lock-in. So is there to be a “community” version that has a life of its own in under the Educational Community License while the KualiCo develops features only available under the Affero license? It is entirely possible that too much can be read into too few words, so I (for one) continue to ponder these questions and watch for the plan to evolve.

On the Child as Memoirist

Sep. 17th, 2014 10:35 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
We recently reviewed I Am Malala, the young-readers’ edition of education activist Malala Yousafzai’s memoir, co-written by Patricia McCormick. Our reviewer tussled with the implications of criticizing the account of a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who was shot and severely injured for speaking up for the rights of girls to go to school. Talk about Worthy and Important. The trouble was that Yousafzai is so earnest and so dedicated to her cause that at times she comes across as sounding like, well, a goody-two-shoes. How do you say that? Obviously, you don’t, but just because Yousafzai is legitimately heroic doesn’t mean that she won’t strike young American readers as preachy.
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

I am pleased to announce that the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives released a memo yesterday afternoon to the heads of executive departments and independent agencies on managing email. Over the past few weeks, this issue has been brought into focus through testimony that I delivered to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In addition, we have received questions from agencies as they are reviewing our Capstone Bulletin to determine if this approach is feasible for them. This is also important in light of the requirement in the Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M-12-18) for all email to be managed electronically by December 31, 2016.

The memo reinforces the importance for each agency to manage their email properly and includes a new NARA Bulletin to assist agencies. NARA Bulletin 2014-06 reminds agency heads of existing NARA guidance and resources to assist in managing email.  The memo also reminds agencies of the upcoming deadline in the Directive to develop suitable training for all agency personnel.

Our Office of the Chief Records Officer is leading our efforts to work with agencies to meet all the goals in the Directive. For more information about this work, and other initiatives they are undertaking, please visit their Records Express blog.… [ Read all ]

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