Search Me

What's with the cold and snow? I think Utah is intent on messing with your mind continuously. Anyway today we will work through search engines. Hit me baby!

Some other Online Search Engines
Do you remember the days when the internet was new? In those wacky days the search was to find the best search engine. First there was Webcrawler, Infoseek, and Lycos. Then there was Dogpile, Altavista, and Excite. Of course these all bit the dust as soon as Yahoo appeared on the scene; then of course came Google who reigns supreme.

So I was not surprised to hear that there are some other search engines out there, just waiting to be discovered. I was most impressed with Exalead, Although Clusty was a close second. These search engines are probably better then Google in the ability to get a lot of info quickly. However they lack what Google has which is simplicity. BTW in my opinion due to its funky bizarre graphic design I found Kartoo ridiculously confusing. Also if you look at their image and video tabs you are sent to Yahoo, so what's the point. Just use Yahoo.

Anyway these are key to reference work for the new age librarian. Patrons will ask you any questions under the sun, for there research projects, or just crazy obssessions about Mars. Maybe I'll give some of these a try in the future.

Just like to point some stuff out.
*LibraryThing is updated to reflect all the books that I have reviewed since the beginning of this blog. My goal is to read and review 52 books this year. Right now I'm on target.
*Have been thinking of adding another blog to reflect my other passions. Any suggestions for names, please drop me a line.
*May post a special report on the World Horror Convention 2008 that I will be attending for a day here in Salt Lake.
*Please check out the other blogs listed on the Blog Roll. I think they are spiffy.

Alright I'se need to get going. Have a great day! Book Slave.


Victorian Weirdness

Hello Out There In Cyberland,
A beautiful weather week attached to an overall poor Easter weekend. Thank god for books and cyberspace! Speaking of, This week a review here for an actual fiction book. Wonder of Wonders! Great Hera's Ghost! Insert exclamatory cliche! Anyway Enjoy!

The Somnabulist
In this supernatural mystery that takes place in the Victorian era, a magician/detective uncovers a conspiracy that may be true or a complete fantasy. The story begins to read like a Pynchon novel as strange character combines with crazy conspiracy. This reader became tired of the lack of plausible connections between characters and events. An unreliable narrator didn't add to things. While I enjoyed the Lemony Snicket snarkiness of the narrative voice I also wonder if it's a case of too many tricks, and too much cleverness. However I did enjoy characters such as Thomas Cribb and the crazy "Prefects" as they emerged near the end. I only recommend it to anyone who likes Victorian era weirdness.

Wolverine #62 and #63
These are the first two books in the Get Mystique story arc. Now I have never been a Wolverine reader, however I've heard awesome things about new writer Jason Aaron. He is best known for the independent series Scalped, which I plan to get to soon. This comic is awesome. I highly enjoy the cat and mouse play between Wolverine and Mystique as they chase/evade each other throughout the Middle East. Mystique has a lot of great tricks up her sleeve, my fave being her disguise as a nun. However many times Wolverine gets shot though he just keeps coming. In very Lost-like fashion we also get some insight into the first meeting between Mystic and Wolvy in 1921. Yes they go back that far. I highly recommend this as a jumping on point since you really don't need to know continuity to keep up.

Justice League: The New Frontier Special #1
This fun comic is a great showcase for the writing of Darwyn Cook and art of J. Bone. Written and Drawn in classic 50s style we get three stories for $4.99. I have to say I enjoyed the opening page to best. In an Introduction by Rip Hunter, Cook tells the audience (through Rip Hunter, Time Master) to just read the story and enjoy it. "Who cares What world we're on?" he says in response to Continuity hounds and I love it! I also enjoyed the Wonder Woman/Black Canary story where they try to liberate a Playboy strip club. It is self-referential and hilarious. J. Bone's art is also amazing fun.

What's In My Bag
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Buffy Season 8 #12

Entertainment Weekly

Check Out Count: Far too high!
Have a great week! I'll be at the World Horror Convention on Thursday. Maybe I'll see you there. Book Slave


Time Suckage

Today we are going to discuss various ways in which the internet can take your life away.

Online Image Generators
While fun, and kinda frightening (check out the fake badge and ID generators!), image generators are a major timesuck. I played around with the various options out there. While it was amusing to add profanity and foolish jokes to church signs and book covers, ultimately it's pointless. I'll giggle a little, but then it's time to move on. Those who are involved with graphics and displays would most likely find the most use for these apps. However, if you look at the right hand column I did find some enjoyment using Mosaic, which puts together a group of photos from Flickr with common tags. I think I'll rotate it from time to time.

Online Video
So Youtube is probably the best known source of videos on the web. As I've looked around at what's available I am continuously amazed. Who are these people who have the time to put together these videos? What drives them? And why do they feel the need to share it with the world?

A little background: In the early 2000's I was heavily involved with video editing and production. Now remember this was in the early days before Imovie/Avid was available to the general public. I loved video editing. Still do. However I haven't done it in several years and technology has probably passed me by. At that time though the most exciting aspect of DV was that it opened the door to easy distribution. Once streaming video caught up then anyone would be able to post and download anyone's video from anywhere! This rocked our world. And then 5 years later came Youtubeand the future became now.

Of course as with any application their are pros and cons. Online Video has provided a platform for anyone to use for either entertainment or instructional purposes. Also as with anything internet related it can also be bended to our base interests/needs, like porn or extreme violence.

Libraries can make use of How to mini-videos to show patrons. They can create a link on their main page to allow patrons to post their own testimonials. This would contribute to a sense of community and create a feeling of ownership. Of course this would require a web moderator/IT person to make sure there was no malfeasance.

Anyway I like to use Online video for movie trailers so here's one that I think looks awesome.

In the end, we have the age old question of fun vs. functionality. Clearly these applications fall into the category of the former, rather than the latter.
Have an excellent week! Book Slave


Hello cyberworld,
How are you? After 4 days off in a row you'd think I'd have more read, but unfortunately other projects beckoned. However I do have some reviews for you. So Enjoy!

Scott Pilgrim #3
This is such a fun book! It's unique and funny. This book involves Scott and his former flame Envy Adams. Adams is a great satire on bitchy pop stars, who are lost in their celebrity image. The story of Envy and Scott is a clear step toward more mature writing from O'Malley. Of course Scott has to fight another Ex-Boyfriend in order to win Ramona, but we also get to see the awesome fighting skills of Knives Chau. Highly Enjoyable.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 2: No Future For You
This story arc is a collection of issues #6-11. Technically not yet out in a trade paperback, but it is only a matter of time so I grouped it together. I think that the greatest strength of this arc is the amazing writing of Brian K. Vaughn. Rather than Buffy, the main character in this story is Faith. Under cover to assassinate a rogue debutante slayer, Faith continues to be morally conflicted. She is the one sent in to do the dirty work and it is psychologically wearing her down. Vaughn mixes her grey morality with a need for redemption. I'm a sucker for redemption stories.

The Spirit #12
I know this is old but I am just catching up. I loved this issue. Darwyn Cook has revived an amazing series. Cook has brought in a romanticism to this final issue of his run. This tale tells the story of Denny Colt and Sand Serif, the childhood love that got away. The story spins a heady mix of lovers who are thrown together but ultimately cannot emotionally be together. Denny will always try to save her no matter how much she pushes him away. I loved it. And the art is amazing from J. Bone.

The Spirit #13
Now on the other hand I was very dissapointed in this holiday special. Half the time I had no idea what was going on. Although I will say that the woman with the tiger was pretty cool. Unfortunately we only got an 11 page story. The rest of the comic was a reprint of an old Denny O'Neill comic. Not to say that I don't like Denny O'Neill, but without a context or any investment I was lost. I'd have rather had a full issue.

What's In My Bag

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Somnabulist

Comics Now!

Captain America #35

Checkout Count: 48

Have a great week! Book Slave


For Evil or Good...

Hey folks,
Today we are talking about a classic topic: What should we use the internet for?

Mashups and 3rd Party's
I think that once someone comes up with a wonderful application, like flickr, the masses feel compelled to add little ancillaries to it. Whether this is helpful or a hindrance depends from widget to widget. Looking through these various widgets I ask myself what would be fun and cool to add to this blog and what is actually helpful. Through one 3rd party affiliate Librarything I can include book covers of what I'm reviewing. Librarything links the covers to Amazon and any one who's interested in the book has a great link to get a copy themselves. Pretty awesome right? However I also find an affiliate like Mappr where I can visually show which states I've been to. Whereas this is a fun little thing, unless you know me personally, it really has no application to helping readers find the books I write about. The best widgets in my mind actually combine fun and functionality.

Topix, Synd8, and more on Technorati
So here's some more search sites to ponder. I saw very little difference between Topix and Technorati. Each employ similiar search engines using tags, however I would only use these to search for current events/pop culture topics. Again very little application to library usage beyond that. I did search each site for info on the new Watchmen movie (March 2009 yay!) and each gave 5 different sites for a total of 10. Please note that none of these were the official site blog.

So onto Synd8. This site was incredibly helpful when it came to finding RSS feeds. What are RSS feeds? Either they are incredibly awesome or an amazing time suck. You be the judge. For me I like using RSS feeds to be able to know when the blogs and websites that I follow have updated. I don't need to check those websites individually and I can sort out articles I actually find interesting. At Synd8 I was able to find several great RSS feeds on any subject. However I was completely turned over by the bare bones/very little graphics appearance of the site. Maybe this makes me shallow. I just need my sites to be somewhat pretty. Library applicable? Not really. Kinda fun? Yes.

Again this shows us the two sides of the internet. There are applications that are simply there for fun and time suckage. (This is a preview to next weeks entry which is all about time suckage) A website/application can exist solely to entertain or feed into our base hedonistic needs coughporncough. However there are great applications that can be used to facilitate the search for information. Apparently both now have a place in our lives forever, like television. Whether you use it for good or evil is up to you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Erin go Bragh! Book Slave.


My New God

Hello cyber-world,
What a beautiful day here in SLC! I actually was able to go biking this weekend and it was awesome. Highly reccommend viewing the world from two wheels. Unfortunately you can't read and bike, leads to accidents, I don't suggest it. However, I do suggest public transportation. Many a book has been read while on the Trax. Oh the banality of blogging! If you are looking for insight and intelligence then what are you doing on the web! Anyway onward!

Greg Rucka has become my new god. Again and again he is able to create strong female characters, not something comics are known for. This story features a tough as nails Federal Marshall Carrie Stetko, who is sent to solve a murder in Antartica. She is assisted by Lily Sharpe, a sharp British spook who may have alternative motives. I was quite surprised at how this story echoed Silence of the Lambs, not in genre, but in how the main character is isolated by her gender. Time and again she is considered solely as a sexual object and not taken seriously based on her gender. This echoes the isolation of the crazy locale. Add a twisty story and I was hooked. Cool art as well.

What's in my bag
Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Somnabulist

Comics Now

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5

Check Out Count: 54

Happy St. Patrick's Day Weekend! Erin Go Brah! Book Slave.



Hello humble readers,
First I offer apologies on the lateness of this post. Didn't plan on my internet being unavailable on Wednesday. However here we are with today's topic (drumroll) Flickr. Since the beginning of the internet users have been posting photos online. Once download speed became amazingly fast this became more and more the focus of online usage. I think that this is an evolution of social connectivity that a website, like Flickr would come along. This site makes it much easier for folks to share their pics with each other and the masses. As someone who has never really been interested in creating or looking at other peoples pictures of their proms or babies I've watched this development from the sidelines. However looking through Flickr I can now see the appeal for library application. Working at SLC Library I see patrons and pros all the time taking pictures of our building. When it looks like this (see picture at right)how could you not. To have a place where these can be collected, shown, and shared is pretty awesome. In this way we get to connect with current patrons as well as future patrons. It was also fun looking at other libraries from all over the world. I would hope that using Flickr my library system can integrate pictures of/by patrons onto our account.
Pretty cool eh? Have a great week, Book Slave.


Chilly like some warrior mice...

Hello Blogizens,
How are you? Good I hope. Unfortunately here in SLC it got horribly chilly. I guess we need to be reminded that this is a cold desert. Anyway on with the today's post:


Coast of Utopia Vol. 2: Shipwreck
If you check back in January I read/reviewed Vol. 1 of this epic play. Again this play is not for those who are seeking a "little comedy and a dog." I did find myself lost in a lot of the philosophical talk. However I found Part 2 compelling mainly because the play shifts with the failure of the 1848 revolution-the political becomes personal. I found myself emotionally connecting with the relationship between Natalie and Natasha, as well as Herzen and Belinsky. The final scenes were very Our Town-esque. I yearn for the day when I can see it performed live. Not for the weak, Stoppard continues to challenge audiences/readers with highly intellectual works.

Mouseguard: Winter 1152 #3
It's been forever since a new issue of this great series came out. I was squeeing for joy when I finally was able to crack it open and find out the fate of these warrior mice. This issue was great. I'm really enjoying the character of The Black Axe. This Obi-Wan-esque character has a wonderful sense of humor. I particularly liked a scene between him and Young Mouse Guard Lieam as they discuss keeping secrets. Also the scenes with the bats were great and creepy. Pick up this title, now!

What's In My Bag (formerly Reading List)

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Somnabulist

Countdown to Final Crisis #9

Comics Now!

Check Out Count: 56 (all time high!)

It has been a tough week professionally, so losing myself in some great books sounds pretty awesome. See ya later, Book Slave.