Blogroll

The telephone number transformation

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to what sticks in our minds from childhood. As I look back, I can’t figure out why the announcement of telephone number changes in the early ’60s stays with me.

Anyone who’s watched a 1950s or early 1960s movie knows telephone numbers then wasn’t just a series […]

Best of February 2015

Books

Hubert Wolf’s The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal epitomizes how history should be written for the general public. Although the PR around the book promises a look at “sex, poison, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth-century convent,” this is in no way a lurid read. Sure, […]

Birth of a behemoth

Who would have thought a book called Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought” would have been the beginning of an online revolution. Yet 18 years ago today that was the first item sold on a website called Amazon. Today is a behemoth, not only in the world of […]

Book Review: X-Events: The Collapse of Everything by John Casti

Too big to fail.

It’s a phrase that has become so ubiquitous that even the Federal Reserve has a definition on one of its web sites. From the Fed’s standpoint, an organization is “too big to fail” when it is “so important to markets and their positions [are] so intertwined with those of other [institutions] […]

Survey confirms my abnormalities

Maybe they’re asking the wrong people or perhaps I’m just highly abnormal. I’m thinking it’s the latter but a new reading habits survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows I’m a real outlier when it comes to reading.

The survey is billed as the first comprehensive examination of American reading habits since […]

Ebook demand booms locally

How popular have e-books and ebook readers and apps become? Consider this: ebook checkouts from the Siouxland Libraries increased 201 percent over the course of 2011. Meanwhile, the number of electronic materials went up 139 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The figures are rather stunning. Last January, the first complete month of use by those […]