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Frog-monumental Event  

(photo from shopsnohomish.com)

How come I never heard about this before?!

This is too cool. Out Washington (the state) way it seems they use a frog instead of a groundhog to predict the weather:

Snohomish Slew, the Meteorologist Frognosticator extraordinaire and mighty small hero to all the weather weary’ “Gets the Jump” on Punxsutawney Phil and his shadowy claim to fame.”

Bonus points for you if you can work “frognosticator” into a sentence at work tomorrow! Of course, you will want to read about the legend of the frog (which involves Bigfoot, of course).

It is a little known fact, but I have a modest collection of all things froggie (books, figurines, even a frog-shaped purse). Yet, this woman trumps my paltry holdings with over 9,000 collectible (collectible? frog trading cards, perhaps?) frogs.

Want to know what Snohomish Slew predicted? Check his Facebook page – -hey, everyone is on Facebook!- – here.

But the best news is that they no longer release this invasive bullfrog into the wild. Here’s a fun article about that with a great line about how the frog compares to a famous groundhog: “How do we know that Phil doesn’t have a secret frog in his pocket?”

So true!

You just have to love a quote like this:

In some online discussion groups, Avatar fans report feeling “suicidal” after realizing the 3-D world of Pandora doesn’t actually exist.”

Bummer, dude. So…gee, at what point do they realize this fictional, movie- screen, animated world isn’t real I wonder? Scary.

Another great quote from the same article is: “Personally, I was kind of “bummed out” after seeing it — but that was regret over “spending $20 on a film that contains the line ‘That’s the flux vortex.'”

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but our teen volunteer (the droll, sarcastic one who is 17 going on 40, kind of like Richard Lewis back when he was, ya know, funny) did and said that it was a waste of money and a remake of Dances With Wolves.

Fail Blog has a great photo showing how Avatar is really Disney’s movie Pocahontas:

epic fail pictures

For more fun, check out these video mash-ups 😉

Texas

What a bunch of bull…

Everyone’s gotta have their fingers in the pie. It seems like things are getting to the point where we can’t go forward with any decision because we are trying to please everyone. Here is a prime example from Texas over social studies.

Now, I won’t pretend I don’t have my own opinions on what should be included or emphasized but my point is that in the end it doesn’t matter.

Having been a Texas student all through grades K-7, I can tell you that I don’t remember diddly about what was or wasn’t included in our social studies curriculum or that it had any impact over how I turned out as a person. (Although I do remember having to lug around a huge tome just on Texas history, but aside from learning how to draw the shape of the state and develop strong biceps I can’t remember anything from it).

What did shape my social studies learning? My own life experiences, my family, my friends, my community and my library. If we are lucky, the school will spark an interest in an issue (any issue!) and the student will pursue more learning outside the classroom.

Why pretend that spending 20 minutes in the classroom talking about Chavez or Columbus or Mary Kay will impact a student meaningfully? Sadly, the real issue is that with today’s educational system focused only on testing, I don’t think it will make any difference.

A great teacher makes a difference. Someone who can teach students to evaluate where information comes from and what biases it may or may not have…teaching critical thinking. Clearly that matters, as this report indicates,  Where We Read from Matters, but it seems hard to find.

Midnight is looming and, as is typical, I find myself thinking back on 2009.

Overall, it was a pretty crappy year. In 2009 I lost my full-time job. I also lost my best friend Linda. Still, I do have a roof over my head (although it desperately needs to be reshingled), food, clothing and family & friends and many other things to be thankful for.

But I miss Linda.

I just wish I had the skill to write something about her to do her justice. But she was the writer. I am only left with a quote that she told me she really liked from Rachel Carson’s letters:

“This is a postscript to our morning at Newagen, something I think I can write better than say. For me it was one of the loveliest of the summer’s hours, and all the details will remain in my memory: that blue September sky, the sounds of the wind in the spruces and surf on the rocks, the gulls busy with their foraging, alighting with deliberate grace, the distant views of Griffiths Head and Todd Point, today so clearly etched, though once half seen in swirling fog. But most of all I shall remember the monarchs, that unhurried westward drift of one small winged form after another, each drawn by some invisible force. We talked a little about their migration, their life history. Did they return? We thought not; for most, at least, this was the closing journey of their lives.

But it occurred to me this afternoon, remembering, that it had been a happy spectacle, that we had felt no sadness when we spoke of the fact that there would be no return. And rightly – for when any living thing has come to the end of its life cycle we accept that end as natural.

For the Monarch, that cycle is measured in a known span of months. For ourselves, the measure is something else, the span of which we cannot know. But the thought is the same: when that intangible cycle has run its course it is a natural and not unhappy thing that a life comes to an end.

That is what those brightly fluttering bits of life taught me this morning. I found a deep happiness in it – so I hope, may you. Thank you for this morning.”  Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964. Freeman, Martha

 

Or, should I say “humour”?

Either way, luv it!

Yeah, OK, I’m back to blogging.

Maybe.

Kind-of, sort-of.

So, when we last left our intrepid librarian she was getting downsized due to budget shortfalls. I think I am now classified as “under employed,” since I am holding on to my job but only as a very limited part time worker.

And now, with a new year, comes a new boss. Except that no one knows who that will be. Or just when, exactly, this mystery boss will actually start. We get to fly rudderless (crap, I’m mixing metaphors again…) for an entire month. Well, THAT should be interesting.

So, while we all ponder that, here is a very amusing yet disturbing report by Geoff Nunberg on the horrible state of Google Books categories/ tagging/classification:

“An edition of Moby Dick is classed under “Computers”: a biography of Mae West classified as “Religion”; The Cat Lover’s Book of Fascinating Facts falls under “Technology & Engineering.” A 1975 reprint of a classic topology text is “Didactic Poetry”; the medievalist journal Speculum is classified “Health & Fitness.””

Destination Unknown

Life is so strange, indeed…

I should know by Wednesday if I am going to be laid off at the library (or, possibly, next week as there are union thingies that must be done, too). My state is one of the very few where public libraries depend on government funding to run. And, hey, you just might have heard this somewhere or other, but it seems our economy has tanked.

So now our library has to figure out how to make up a 3 million budget shortfall. Next year, we can add 4 million to that figure.

Dire times for public libraries here. And dire times for those of us with little seniority. I’ve never been laid off before but it seems highly likely (if not next month then it will be in January).

Which gets us back to the age old question: Now what?

Stay tuned…

Which Way To Go? by theevilmightyf.

(photo by theevilmightyf on Flickr)