Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The best laid plans...

Dad's been destashing his apartment a bit, and I've been given a few things as a result. I had intended to get a post up about some of them today, but instead I've been over on LibraryThing. They released a shiny new toy to the site's "beta testers" -- really a semiofficial group of members who get to try out new features before the official roll-out, in order to make sure they're not half baked. (If you're on LT and want to get in on said group, you can send me a private message on my profile and I'll see if I can get you in. And if you're already a member of that group, you'll know that the feature in question is this one.)

LibraryThing has released a second toy to the usership in general. This particular toy -- discussed in this post on the site's blog -- is the integration of Lexiles with the site and with user catalogs. I'm neither a library nor a school, and it would be shinier to those institutions than it is to me, but this feature has already sparked quite a bit of discussion since it was made public around 11 this morning. I, of course, promptly went to see what my highest-Lexile book is (The Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol F. Karlsen, you can see the detail page here). And I wasn't the only person to do so, either: there's already at least one discussion thread discussing where our highest ranked books fall. The results can be fun, since apparently the people behind Lexiles use vocabulary and sentence structure to assign Lexiles, but pay little to no attention to things like subject matter or concepts. Some of the results are a bit odd, to say the least, and have earned a bit of laugh-and-point.

Well, back to the discussions. And the laughing and pointing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April!

I have yet to think of any really good, yet safe (and safe-for-work) pranks and or hoaxes of my own, so I'll share two of my favorites -- both of which started with the BBC.

The first, of course is classic. The video below is a bit fuzzy, but a better one can be seen here.

Another good BBC hoax, narrated by Monty Python member Terry Jones, features Adélie penguins that have learned how to fly -- and migrate.

Obligatory Linkage
Wikipedia articles: April Fool's Day, Spaghetti Trees and Flying Penguins.
Youtube clips of the spaghetti harvest, available in fuzzy or not fuzzy
Youtube clip of the flying penguins