A short list of events that took place in London, England in 1606:
- King James, originally from Scotland, attempts to force Parliament into the ‘Union’ of Scotland and England
- King James requisitions new flag for ships of both countries, which later becomes known as Union Jack
- The union proved unpopular with the English and the Scots, along with Parliament and Scottish clergy. Union between the two countries would not take place for another 100 years.
- Ships sailed from London for what became England’s first colony in North America. (Stopping at Jamestown, Virginia.)
- Most of the surviving members (including Guy Fawkes) of the gunpowder plot were executed. The plot was an assassination attempt of King James and most likely all sitting members of the House of Lords by a group of Catholic noblemen and military. It was to take place November 5, 1605, opening day of Parliament.
- Work is hastened on an English translation of the Bible, known as King James Version.
- The Plague returned to London, slowly at first then spiking in July, forcing quarantines of the sick and the shuttering of all play houses and all public entertainment.
- Shakespeare’s company performs King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra, all written by 42-year-old Shakespeare during this time.
All of these events, and others in great detail, are covered in James Shapiro’s 1606: Shakespeare and the Year of Lear. He argues, successfully, that the Bard may have written plays and used plots we may think as timeless, but he was very much grounded in the realities of his time:
Krishnadev Calamur, writing in The Atlantic, on the Wednesday, October 4 attack in Niger of three US soliders and one solider from an unnamed country.
Violent Extremism in the Sahel
Center for Strategic & International Studies
Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro on how he wrote The Remains of the Day:
I just finished The Remains of the Day, the first time I’ve ever read Ishiguro. To say this book inhabit its own world is an understatement.
I found #5 interesting.
These short timers may not be alone. According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard[pdf], the average auto commuter spent 42 hours on their commute per year. IN 1982, that number was 18 hours.
From a paper called Issues In The Marketing Of Library, Information Products And Services At Unizik Library by Obiora Cyril Nwosu:
The piece also has some good ideas on marketing academic libraries today.
Where is the Unizik Library at Nnamdi Azikiwe University?
This week is banned books week. Here’s a rundown on some issues surrounding the awareness campaign drawing attention to books facing censorship across the US and some parts of the world.
10 books the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund helped defend in 2017 (So far)
What banned books say about politics, culture and hot-button topics in the US
Why are Graphic Novels Being Challenged More Than Ever?
'In 2017, censorship comes from an outraged public'
Questioning 'Challenged Books': Banned Books Week as a Marketing Campaign for Publishers
Top 10 banned books for 2016:
"What follows is not the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. That would be presumptuous if not impossible for a foreign reporter to write,” writes Laura Secor in her introduction to Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran. "This is a book about real people, some more famous or more admirable than others, but people whose complex and imperfect lives illuminate the passages through which they’ve traveled. There are no American protagonists and no American policy prescriptions. It is a book about Iranians, and it is a history—a hidden history, for the most part, of a powerful and protean current in the political and intellectual life of a nation."
What follows is nearly 500 pages that intermingle personal and pubic history, starting in the decade before the Iranian Revolution and going through the Green Movement of 2009-2010. She follows people from different walks of life, some women, but many men (at least in the early years), who in their own ways are patriots driven against a system that slowly chokes off not just dissent but almost any free expression. The book’s talent lies not in the big picture explanations, but in Secor's ability to make universal these nuanced biographical sketches.
But this does not mean Secor relies on the quotidian. The book—especially when viewing the days of the Revolution and the decade that followed—covers the unbelievably abstract, philosophical squabbles amongst factions.
Like many Iranian thinkers, [Abdolkarim] Soroush ruminated on the classic dilemma of his country—so classic that it had ossified into cliche: Iran, the country forever torn between tradition and modernity. Soroush reflected that it was not meaningful to speak of modernity as a state to be engineered or rejected: modernity, too, was multifarious and, perhaps more important, it was not planned or chosen so much as it was the unintended consequence of human endeavor.
“We are neither modern nor traditional,” Soroush remarked. “We are neither here nor there. We are just feeling our way as if in darkness. Sometimes we see better, sometimes not.”
I can't recommend this book enough.
Tim Hartford talks to Derek Thompson of The Atlantic about his new book Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy. Their conversation begins with the air conditioner, where in New York City print shop workers tired of watching the building’s heat and humidity ruining their prints until a young engineer named Willis Carrier created a method to cool air moving over metal coils filled with compressed ammonia.
Since that time, the air conditioning industry has become big business in the United States. And big energy users. From the Buildings Energy Data Book by the US Department of Energy:
- Air conditioning makes up 10 percent of all housing energy use in the US, falling behind heating (37 percent) and water heating (12 percent) and right ahead of lighting (9 percent).
- In the three decades before 2009, energy consumption in all buildings (homes and commercial) increased by nearly half.
- Buildings now make up 41 percent of all US energy consumption. That’s compared to 30 percent of the industrial sector and 29 percent of the transportation sector.
Tyler Cowen argues Facebook’s problem is that it makes it too easy for us to be ‘superficially social’ by stripping it away from the deeper social cultural context:
Consider how social networks have taken a lot of the power away from popular music. Formerly, young people used music to signal who they were and to which social circles they wanted to belong. If you were a feminist in the late 1990s, you might listen to Indigo Girls and trade Sarah McLachlan CDs and go to Lilith Fair concerts. But today you can just make a few clicks to show your views with a Planned Parenthood support banner over your Facebook profile photo.
People have hardly stopped listening to music, but music is less moored to our social attachments, and it doesn’t seem to have the cultural force or social influence or political meaning of earlier times. Pop music has been in the ascendancy, and, outside of rap, protest music is less important. From the charts you hardly would know we are living in the time of Trump.
When social context was front and center, as in the older world of mainstream media, fake news was harder to pull off. For all their flaws, major, well-funded newspapers and somewhat boring television networks helped knit Americans together, and most people had a sense of the borders of what kind of reporting lapses might be possible or not. When Facebook brings you directly to “the news,” without much cultural intermediation, the risk of outright lies rises, and it is less clear which pieces of reporting have been through credible external scrutiny. In essence, Facebook makes it too easy for us to communicate without the background social production of context.
Perhaps these are two different arguments, but I wonder, though, if in questioning Facebook's power we're still fighting the last war. Maybe music -- and print media -- is no longer as culturally (and economically) relevant because people have moved on, and Facebook isn't the culprit, but it has certainly capitalized on their demise.
Here's Bob Leftsetz on the sale of Rolling Stone:
Now let’s credit Jann [Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone]. He started “Rolling Stone.” There were competitors, but they all failed. The power of the individual can never be underestimated.
But Steve Jobs eliminated the floppy and legacy ports.
And “Rolling Stone” refused to go online and looked no different than it ever was, as it turned into “Mojo,” albeit with crappier writing.
You can live on your heritage in the arts. Copyrights have value.
But not in tech. And not in news. You have to look forward, you have to destroy your past to have a future.
And Jann Wenner was living in the past.
Now don’t lament the sale and the eventual irrelevance. Because the magazine is already irrelevant. Music does not drive the culture, the oldster players don’t do anything new of value and although Matt Taibbi is a star, he’s in a ghetto of blah, like having Einstein preaching to six year olds.
A recent study in the African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science investigated the use of ICTs by 1001 mothers in Nigeria to access maternal and child health information from health workers.
While the largest percentage of the mothers (45%) utilized ICTs for appointment reminders and 39% searched for information on mental health/emotional changes during pregnancy, 34% of respondents accessed family planning information. This beat out such timely subjects as medication in pregnancy, breast feeding and nutrition during pregnancy.
The study, which piggybacked on existing eHealth projects throughout Nigeria, then tried to assess what actions the mothers took after using the ICTs for information gathering. Researchers found 83% of mothers visited their registered clinic for health care.
Bottom line: it seems that these patients are hunting for information on their own.
A mother in Gombe State is reported as saying:
A mother in Imo state:
Here’s the citation for that study: Obasola, Oluwaseun I., and Iyabo M. Mabawonku. "Women's Use of Information and Communication Technology in Accessing Maternal and Child Health Information in Nigeria." African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science 27.1 (2017).