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October 23, 2007

Some more photographs

I still can't say yet exactly what's happening with my scanning project yet, unfortunately, though it's heading along the lines of good news at this stage. In the meantime, here's some more photographs to keep everyone occupied and believing that I'm really alive still at Penn State. Really. Anyway, here they are:

  1. There's this really nice statue outside the Business Building at Penn State.

    I was rather taken aback by this statue outside the Smeal College of Business. The building itself uses a lot of glass windows, and methinks is quite pretty in places.

  2. There is some random fountain, outside the Forum Building.

  3. I was lucky to catch the sunset outside Sheetz, on North Atherton Street, State College, one evening.

    State College and University Park are very fortunate to have some very pretty sunsets through the year, sun or snow. Rain, too -- sometimes.

  4. Notice something about the bookshelf labels?

    I was at the local Barnes & Noble in State College, and the person with me and I noticed that Love & Sex and Sexuality were both next to Addiction/Recovery.

    Oops, maybe?

Anyway, that's probably enough for now. And I'm still alive. Yay! More photographs later!

September 26, 2007

Back already

Sometimes I wonder if I do forget that I'm back in the United States. Proof that I know I am, though:

  1. The first reason is that I visted Stanford University.
  2. I also visited Tempe, Arizona, which is incidentally one of Lower Hutt's sister cities. So here's a random photograph from Tempe.

I'll put up some more photographs soon, and hopefully I'm allowed to make some announcements on what I'm doing next for my book scanning work.

Hugs!

July 7, 2007

A busy life, but another Project Gutenberg book is now finished!

Yes, it would appear that the first Māori language text to appear on PG has appeared. Yay!

Now available in glorious markup on Project Gutenberg is Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. The S27(1) site also has some nice goodies in its Hinemoa section that might be worth checking out, too.

After a really interesting lesson in the macronisation of Māori over time, it's been great to finally, with the help of DP (plus some very helpful advice from Winifred Bauer at VUW), take part in getting this on to PG. The PG upload, it may be worth noting, preserves the text as published, with no corrections made; there is an 'unofficial' version of sorts, if this is required; see my S27(1) site's Hinemoa section for more details about that.

(By the way, life has been busy lately. If you don't know already why I haven't done much in the way of the diary for a while, you will soon know why, once I can say officially what's happening.)

February 14, 2007

Finally! Snow!

Finally! There's a decent amount of snow in University Park/State College, PA, according to AccuWeather right now (and by my own observation, it's lots of snow), like real snow. Inches of it. Lots of it. Well, around 5 centimetres to 10 centimetres or so of it in patches. Enough to go walking through with a good crunch in places (when using some good boots, anyway). In sub-zero temperatures (that's metric I'm thinking of, by the way, though we've had sub-zero in Fahrenheit, too, on the odd day, if I recall correctly, though not today), too! :)

AccuWeather also say on their video forecast for State College there could be a foot of snow in places, too. This will be interesting, albeit for the first time if not the subsequent snowfalls! :) That said, their warnings page for State College at least looks serious on first impressions, though. (Some of the other videos are, uh, undescribable, though -- take the fun Confessions of a Weather Girl and their bloopers, for example. I'm not sure what I make of Battle of the Weather Girls, though. Something seems odd about it.)

I now know what snow can also mean -- WMNST 250 (Sexual Identity over the Life Span) is cancelled tonight. :( I was looking forward to tonight's class, but there's always next week. :)

Photographs of the glorious snowfall later tonight, methinks!

February 9, 2007

Accident compensation

Who do I have to thank for New Zealand's compulsory accident insurance system and several other social rights laws? Sir Owen Woodhouse, of course.

February 4, 2007

Nailing jelly to the wall

Tried nailing jelly to the wall? Don't bother, the advice would appear to say.

It'd appear the exception is to be found in concentrated jelly cubes. Which, last time I checked, one can't find in NZ. Those just stick to the wall, but can be nailed, anyway. But, as the advice author says:

This is called "cheating".

Another reminder, after going to see the Vagina Monologues for WMNST 205 last night: I should be studying, I should be studying, I should be studying... [instead of looking at articles on nailing jelly on a library laptop!] Anyway, the play was an interesting empowerment of women's sexuality -- because it took not only a positive look, but also a multicultural look at sexuality, including, well, rape.

Not a bad week overall, then. Lots of study has been done. Yay!

But there's still more to do.

Sigh.

January 9, 2007

All I came here for was the snow...

...And one week later, it's still not come. (Though a free t-shirt was given to me by the bank I signed up with, but no jokes on it about snow.) Which I'm told wasn't expected to happen.

Unless I was mistaken, there was a flurry earlier, but hardly enough for me to call it my first romp in the snow.

Even New York City's got the same issues. I picked up the dead tree edition of Saturday's New York Times to find on the caption of a photograph titled With Mild Winter, the City Revisits Fall Fashion and the Record Books:

Karen Flagg with her 3-year-old son, James, on the swings at the Bleecker Street Playground in Greenwich Village. New York City, basking in warm weather, hasn’t gone this long without snow since 1878.

The article is also online.

Other stuff from the same paper, and online:

January 2, 2007

Celebrate!

It's not often one skips town temporarily to go to a conference.

I've been at the Celebrate '06 conference for the last few days. Amazing! It's interesting how from a (smaller) country that such a conference appears so big compared to a Student Christian Movement Aotearoa conference. I mean, we'd be like a front row of this one in comparison of numbers.

[Quick addition: Due to numerous requests of others attending, I now have a Facebook profile. Add me if you'd like if appropriate. Thanks!]

The sea of people was, well, huge:

Pre-dance dinner, Celebrate '06 conference: this was just part of the room!

New Year was fun. Fireworks on the waterfront. Lots of fun. Bourbon Street was confusing, though. I went to see the fireworks with a group of people. Here is one of them. Nice people all around!

Fireworks for New Year! The people I was watching them with, one of them in this photograph, seemed equally impressed as me.

The previous night, there were the 'Regional Olympics', I'm presuming for a bit of pride in one's region. Because ibiblio at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide room for my non-profit web concerns, I joined South. They won! Yay!

Fun after winning the Regional Olympics: yeah, this was the South team!

Of course there was lots of learning about how various churches' student groups work. Of particular interest to me was the National Catholic Student Coalition -- there's a national study body as opposed to the lack of any that I am aware of in New Zealand/Aotearoa (alas). I hope there really is one that I'm just not aware of. Would be a useful group.

There was a good reason that Sophie Snowfield Kenby-Bear of the Bear Committee showed up to the conference. Breaking gender and age roles for carrying bears. Seriously. Here's an example of what she was up to. More examples later on as I have time while in State College.

Sophie Snowfield Kenby-Bear meets humans. She enjoyed it, judging by this example.

Today I go on to State College, Pennsylvania, to go to Penn State for spring term only on exchange with my home teachers' college/university. This will be fun, I hope. Yay!

I'll write more about the conference and post more photographs as I have time as I settle in -- no time left. Hotel wifi at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside seems rather oddly priced. At least I can listen to some live Radio New Zealand streams -- ah, government radio -- well, National Radio.

December 25, 2006

A reason for me to finish packing sooner

I've been packing so busily I didn't realise it became Christmas Day less than twenty minutes ago; I really should finish soon so I can enjoy it (and to sleep first, perhaps). At least that's what our Santa-friendly US-Canadian military agency's NORAD Tracks Santa service just posted, even with some videos:

This is another sign that I should hurry up packing. Not only does the site have videos, they still run a phone-in service. Well, if you live in North America and can get at the toll-free line. The live tracking map, however, either isn't ready yet or shows Santa really hasn't left the North Pole. Heh.

Damn. I should be packing for Penn State and Celebrate quicker.

Merry Christmas!

On other interesting (depending on personal preference, I guess) news, any volunteers to go over and check (and add) the hyphenation and macronisation (for the te reo Māori section) in Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary, as I get it converted in to an e-book through PG/DP?

December 20, 2006

Things not to do -- or, at least, avoid -- at graduation

Last week's fun times at the Victoria University of Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington College of Education graduation ceremonies were interesting. Notes:

  1. If in doubt (or in possession of a hunch) about whether any of one's students or academic staff colleagues are graduating or not in a particular ceremony, book a seat and gown anyway.
  2. You'll possibly want to avoid being at the front of the staff procession.
  3. To repeat it, in text: avoid being first in the staff procession in to the Wellington Town Hall.
  4. If you are, enjoy being the last out.
  5. If applicable, try to ignore the fact you're going on leave for four and a half months to go on an exchange with VUW to Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, US.
  6. Pack them bags!
  7. Bags, what bags?

(Disclaimer: It's actually not bad at all being first in -- and last out -- at graduation. But, my point is, it's definitely interesting in a good way.)

That's probably enough for now. More later after I've packed. See you in two weeks, Penn State!

(Which, while I'm at it, I should memorise the VUW and WCE mottos in case it comes in handy at PSU. WCE even had two at one stage, I recall (one Māori, one Latin, I believe). Then again, it'd more time to collect them, being nearly 20 years older than the rest of the university and all.)

And yes, see you all back in Wellington in mid-May. Sniff.

December 8, 2006

Hinemoa's story is now/not available for proofreading

Well, you'd better hurry if you want to go to Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders website to help proofread Rev Henry James Fletcher's Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. (Why bother to mention it? It's the first book on the DP site with Te Reo Māori claimed as the primary language.)

So far, it's looking like it will have the fastest first round proofread cycle I've ever seen on the site of anything I've uploaded (not counting a book that was around 5 pages or so I previously uploaded).

Or, if you don't want to proofread it, you could just download the PDF scan of Hinemoa instead. The whole book comes with a glossary (the book appears to be pitched as a textbook for English-speaking learners of Māori language and culture) and some sort of quick summary of the story in English; methinks one would find the entry on the Hinemoa story in the 1966 edition of the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand also useful.

(It's not the only other book in PG or DP that I can find that's in Te Reo. You'll find Edward Shortland's Maori Religion and Mythology floating around DP at the moment; it doesn't claim Māori as the primary language. That appears to be the only other one I can find right now on either website, however.)

Enjoy!

November 30, 2006

And finally, the books

All right, so I took like twelve days to get around to filling out the basic bibliographic information, but finally, the two parliamentary papers (well, books, really) I've just uploaded are the Report of the Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library for the year ended 31 March 1958 (Special Centennial Issue) and the Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958; the latter has already been converted into HTML for Project Gutenberg, too. Both were, of course, like most if not all other papers in the AJHRs, Presented to the House of Representatives by Leave.

Thanks to the New Zealand Parliamentary Library for telling me what their birthday was by pointing me to their centennial annual report. I ended up using the two above plus their 1925 annual report as birthday texts (their birthday, that is) on Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders proofreading site. For the record, the library tells me their birthday (albeit in the predecessor name, the General Assembly Library) is 20 September 1858, when that institution we all know and love (or not love, as the case may be), the Parliament of New Zealand (or, again, at the time, the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parliament assembled) appointed a certain Major Francis Campbell as its first librarian.

Methinks now I'll move back to the morality and juvenile delinquency inquiries and texts I usually scan (or find scans of). Problem is deciding what to do next, and means. Case in point is Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand: report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. I'd like to scan it, but problem is, it's 454-odd pages. That means major spine bending if I do, and I don't exactly want to go damaging a book or report (this one's both, I guess) that isn't mine. Same goes for the Mahon Royal Commission's report (or, the Royal Commission to Inquire into the Crash on Mount Erebus, Antarctica of a DC10 Aircraft Operated by Air New Zealand Limited), though not a sexuality- or morality-related text. That one's shorter at 166-odd pages and may be manageable, but there's the problem of the full bleed (edge-to-edge) photographs. That'd make them become difficult to scan -- they are spectacular though for colour photographs of the time and make a compelling part of the report, so I do need to include them. Plus there appear to be copyright notices on some graphs and diagrams, especially near the end of the report (I'm told these are erroneous claims that wouldn't hold up if challenged, but them notices are still there nonetheless, and methinks that I do need further confirmations on those before I scan them; I could scan them without the graphs but I'm also told those diagrams and graphs are important factual documents I can't exclude for balance reasons). The spine's size I imagine might make it easier to scan, however.

Sigh. But I'll figure something out eventually, I'm sure.

But a lot of it is to do with money for equipment. You can't exactly easily run a scanning project, even as specific as mine, on a shoestring type budget. And to make the spine issue (which many of us have have ever gone scanning or photocopying large books are all too aware of) and those curved lines of text less obvious requires better scanning equipment like the OpticBook. (Either one of these kind of scanners, or a really expensive scanning service like the Heritage Materials Imaging Facility -- but use of their top-of-the-line Cruse non-invasive scanner is rather expensive with a per page price, the VUW NZETC tell me!) Quite likely it'd be prohibitive for an individual person like me.) Maybe a contestable fund like what Russell Brown suggests might help here. Either that or winning the national lottery. As Russell puts it:

Develop a simple, contestable fund to allow individuals and groups to have public archive content digitised on request, thus extending decision-making power to the people who will actually use the content. Make all such content available under a Creative Commons licence, thus developing an on-demand archive in parallel with any archive developed as part of an official strategy.

(This idea of his was written in response to Creating Digital New Zealand: The Draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy: Discussion Document. If you wanna comment on this very wordily-titled discussion paper, you'd better hurry. You've only got three weeks; the cover says Comments due by Wednesday 20 December 2006.)

As for why I took so long to post this, hopefully I can announce why come Monday next week. Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, maybe. Or I'll forget to anyway... I'll see.

And finally, the books

All right, so I took like twelve days to get around to filling out the basic bibliographic information, but finally, the two parliamentary papers (well, books, really) I've just uploaded are the Report of the Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library for the year ended 31 March 1958 (Special Centennial Issue) and the Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958; the latter has already been converted into HTML for Project Gutenberg, too. Both were, of course, like most if not all other papers in the AJHRs, Presented to the House of Representatives by Leave.

Thanks to the New Zealand Parliamentary Library for telling me what their birthday was by pointing me to their centennial annual report. I ended up using the two above plus their 1925 annual report as birthday texts (their birthday, that is) on Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders proofreading site. For the record, the library tells me their birthday (albeit in the predecessor name, the General Assembly Library) is 20 September 1858, when that institution we all know and love (or not love, as the case may be), the Parliament of New Zealand (or, again, at the time, the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parliament assembled) appointed a certain Major Francis Campbell as its first librarian.

Methinks now I'll move back to the morality and juvenile delinquency inquiries and texts I usually scan (or find scans of). Problem is deciding what to do next, and means. Case in point is Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand: report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. I'd like to scan it, but problem is, it's 454-odd pages. That means major spine bending if I do, and I don't exactly want to go damaging a book or report (this one's both, I guess) that isn't mine. Same goes for the Mahon Royal Commission's report (or, the Royal Commission to Inquire into the Crash on Mount Erebus, Antarctica of a DC10 Aircraft Operated by Air New Zealand Limited), though not a sexuality- or morality-related text. That one's shorter at 166-odd pages and may be manageable, but there's the problem of the full bleed (edge-to-edge) photographs. That'd make them become difficult to scan -- they are spectacular though for colour photographs of the time and make a compelling part of the report, so I do need to include them. Plus there appear to be copyright notices on some graphs and diagrams, especially near the end of the report (I'm told these are erroneous claims that wouldn't hold up if challenged, but them notices are still there nonetheless, and methinks that I do need further confirmations on those before I scan them; I could scan them without the graphs but I'm also told those diagrams and graphs are important factual documents I can't exclude for balance reasons). The spine's size I imagine might make it easier to scan, however.

Sigh. But I'll figure something out eventually, I'm sure.

But a lot of it is to do with money for equipment. You can't exactly easily run a scanning project, even as specific as mine, on a shoestring type budget. And to make the spine issue (which many of us have have ever gone scanning or photocopying large books are all too aware of) and those curved lines of text less obvious requires better scanning equipment like the OpticBook. (Either one of these kind of scanners, or a really expensive scanning service like the Heritage Materials Imaging Facility -- but use of their top-of-the-line Cruse non-invasive scanner is rather expensive with a per page price, the VUW NZETC tell me!) Quite likely it'd be prohibitive for an individual person like me.) Maybe a contestable fund like what Russell Brown suggests might help here. Either that or winning the national lottery. As Russell puts it:

Develop a simple, contestable fund to allow individuals and groups to have public archive content digitised on request, thus extending decision-making power to the people who will actually use the content. Make all such content available under a Creative Commons licence, thus developing an on-demand archive in parallel with any archive developed as part of an official strategy.

(This idea of his was written in response to Creating Digital New Zealand: The Draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy: Discussion Document. If you wanna comment on this very wordily-titled discussion paper, you'd better hurry. You've only got three weeks; the cover says Comments due by Wednesday 20 December 2006.)

As for why I took so long to post this, hopefully I can announce why come Monday next week. Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, maybe. Or I'll forget to anyway... I'll see.

November 18, 2006

New books uploaded

Well, while I get some things sorted over the next few weeks, I'll be a bit snowed over with things to do -- I can't say yet out loud what's happening, alas. Here's a couple of things that have been happening.

For a break from my usual morality inquiry (and related books) scans, I've been scanning books from other subject areas, such as Hinemoa. New stuff today includes some education-related parliamentary annual reports from the late 1950s. There's a couple of these I'll have links for in the next few weeks once I remember where I've put the PDF scans for them and get full title information for them.

Something that's been sitting on my computer's desktop screen for nearly three weeks now since All Saints' Day is an opinion piece on sainthood from the NYT.

November 1, 2006

Bedtime reading -- two unrelated stories

I really must have some odd reading tonight. Again, I've included very small fair-use (hopefully) snippets that hopefully summarise each.

  1. Penn State Live: Can school bullying have deadly consequences?

    Studies back up Carney's assertion. A Secret Service report published in 2000 on fatal school shootings since 1974 found that more than 75 percent of all school shooters had experienced ongoing peer bullying. According to the report, the attacker often had felt "persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked or injured before the incident. Many had experienced longstanding and severe bullying and harassment, which some attackers describe as torment."

    Many experts agree that educators bear some responsibility for the school conditions that set the stage for deadly violence. In her 2001 study, "Adult Recognition of School Bullying Situations," Carney and colleague Richard Hazler tested whether teachers and other school personnel could distinguish between bullying and "other forms of youthful play or fighting."

  2. MSNBC: China says North Korea to rejoin 6-nation nuclear talks.

    Chief envoys to the negotiations from China, North Korea and the United States held an informal meeting in Beijing on Tuesday and agreed to resume the six-nation talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Yeah, I'd say I have some odd reading tonight. The first one goes within my academic area of research interest, though.

October 30, 2006

Another asthma cause

Over in New Zealand, are you concerned about the condition your home with regards to asthma? In the New York City suburb of South Bronx, I've no idea about environmental conditions in housing, but one newly-identified asthma cause is truck exhaust.

Two other snippets I've found in the New York Times today, with two sentences from each that summarise them:

  1. US Jobs Shape Condoms' Role in Foreign Aid -- Britain, Ireland and Norway have all sought to make aid more cost effective by opening contracts in their programs to fight global poverty to international competition. The United States, meanwhile, continues to restrict bidding on billions of dollars worth of business to companies operating in America, and not just those that make condoms.

    Eek!

  2. What Do Women Want? Just Ask -- More companies, in the United States and elsewhere, have realized that they overlook women at their own financial peril. The companies are realigning their marketing and design practices, learning to court an increasingly female-centric consumer base that boasts more financial muscle and purchasing independence than ever before.

October 29, 2006

$6 per month for Vodafone's 'BestMate on Supa Prepay'

Sick of the viral marketing that's making you say 'just bloody well tell me'? Well, some folks at a local electronics store (whom I'm guessing other locals will be able to identify from the pictures below) decided to put out their (possibly still embargoed) marketing collateral for Vodafone NZ's supposedly brilliant (I haven't I should add pass judgement on it yet, and I've got no idea if it is, really, but I'm not a marketer) new BestMate™ on the new Supa Prepay plan (yeah, they write it with the trademark symbol, even in the press release, heaven forbid), for their prepaid cellphone customers, a little early (as far as I can tell).

So, if the sign is to be believed, it's 'Call, video [call?] and TXT' one's nominated best friend for $6 per month. I'm guessing that the $6 wouldn't allow reciprocal calls or text messages back without the other friend person also paying six buckazoids to Vodafone as well. It doesn't suggest how many so-called best friends one can, uh, have. It might also be one of multiple options. I don't know. Heck, I've no idea how open a secret this is, anyway.

Makes it quite interesting for people who mostly send text messages to one other person, as it then effectively trumps Telecom NZ's 2007 $10 for 500 text messages plan.

[I would have uploaded the photographs as indicated, but all three of my usual points for uploading photos seem oddly broken. I'll try again later.]

[Update (6:18): Looks like I've managed to get one of the album sites to upload. Sigh. Took a while.]

Here's closeup of the operative part of the sign, which basically tells us to call, video call and send text messages to our 'BestMate' for '$6 a month'. And here is a detail from another of the photographs. The person holding another person seems rather odd to me. The full album might be useful, too. Lastly, here is a slightly blurry overview of the whole sign.

Yeah, the man holding the woman in his hand seems mildly odd to me. I'm trying not to make a resistant reading of that.

Would mobile number portability actually get around to happening? Vodafone claim that it's happening next year, but the same statement has been up for a while. Then again, Telecom says they'll have it sorted to launch, of all dates, on April Fool's Day next year.

I hope that's not a joke. I'd like just to see a few more points of competition. Portability would help.

October 12, 2006

Is 30 people big enough for a sample?

While I was writing up my final assignment draft for the university year, I spotted an article on MSNBC about dress style and fertility:

A study of young college women showed they frequently wore more fashionable or flashier clothing and jewelry when they were ovulating, as assessed by a panel of men and women looking at their photographs.

“They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably,” said Martie Haselton, a communication studies and psychology expert at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study.

I can see the point of the research, but as usual it raises the question for me that, OK, money might be a constraint, but 30 for a sample of, uh, people being tested seems a little small to me.

(If you can't be bothered wading through digital rights management hoops for an earlier version of the paper, bothering to Google comes up with a proof version in the author's online papers list, DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.07.007. If you don't mind wading through, for an earlier similar paper from the same journal, prod your favourite web browser at DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.10.006 via your favourite library journal database or link resolver for some reading.)

October 6, 2006

His Majesty King of Interface -- oh, and Telecom implies that Jabber is peer-to-peer stuff

Right, two things, while I should be doing work/finishing off at Women's Studies for the university year: my friend Donald Gordon is now King of Interface, or, put simply, a life member, and (in an unrelated madness) the open standards-based Jabber instant messaging protocol is a peer-to-peer technology, Telecom Xtra implies. Egads.

September 11, 2006

Mazengarb Report recommendations

When I wrote the original Wikipedia article on the Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents, I didn't include the recommendations -- I just summarised the conclusions. I've now written a summary of the recommendations as well. Enjoy. As it is Wikipedia, anyone now within good reason has cause to edit them. Have fun...

Continue reading "Mazengarb Report recommendations" »

September 8, 2006

Now, if only...

...Google Maps had street level coverage of my street. (Now, if you don't want my mini-essay which I wrote for my own amusement, you may want to skip straight to the thoughts I have on my latest batch of scanning for S27(1)'s scanned books collection. Hehe!)

They do do street maps -- it's just got no satellite imagery at street level for my suburb and then some: a good chunk of Lower Hutt is missing from the coverage (at time of writing).

With the new address to location translation on offer, it would be nice if the, uh, hole (no pun intended) in coverage were fixed. (Incidentally, the Windows version of the Google Earth client isn't much better when looking at Lower Hutt [see also below]; it appears to currently use the same data set as Google Earth for Lower Hutt -- you could also try these same coordinates in Google Maps if you can be bothered.) If it were, maybe I could put together some nice mapping stuff.

But then, there's a million other mapping websites with New Zealand coverage around, with at least one with apparently better street level aerial coverage (as in no holes in coverage, actual image quality being another matter -- hey, at least it's consistent!), and most that I use for every day purposes are developed in and for the local market here. That's not to mention the city council's property information database has really good images of individual properties. Some, though, concentrate on street maps as opposed to aerial maps or satellite imagery, but make up with their trip planning features (two, Metlink and Yellow Pages, claim they do walking directions, too).

I wonder if I should re-learn some programming to get myself away from all the stuff I'm doing for graduate school for a nice little bit of recreation and perhaps do a localised mapping thing (Jabber map stuff sounds like an idea here) for amusement.

Anyway, here's what Google Maps currently looks like to me with its gap in street level satellite imagery coverage when I search for Lower Hutt. Here's a closeup of what Google Earth sees of Lower Hutt at the moment -- note the change in detail. Now, here's the extent of the gaps in street level coverage of Lower Hutt in Google Earth at the moment; it's currently the same as Google Maps.

And, another book scanned

On other matters, I scanned another book today. Yay for high speed multifunction photocopiers that e-mail on stuff in PDF! Which while I'm on that subject, I've done the same for a few other books that will be released on to Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders on September 20 as birthday texts for proofing.

I'll announce what those ones are closer to the day, but in the meantime, I've scanned A Plea for the Criminal (1905). It's a response (and on first skim through while scanning it, a critical response) by an ordained minister to a book I got through PG earlier that sounded to me like something on eugenics, and that went by the name of The Fertility of the Unfit (1903).

I'm debating if I want to have images up as I've done so previously, or just have the PDF (that the photocopier spat out at me) available -- or both. Feedback would certainly be appreciated on this. (Thanks in advance!) If someone wants A Plea for the Criminal before I get around to properly posting it online, let me know and I'll either email it through somehow, or actually get around to posting it. I blame grad school for my lack of alacrity. Heh.

It doesn't mean that my attempts to find additional sources for material to scan (legally, of course) that is Section 27(1) compliant is bearing some success, necessarily, or even at all -- I do hope it does -- but I have found some stuff that should keep me occupied while I do look for things more relevant to my grad school study and research -- though today's scanned book is very much related in some aspects (say, related to the eugenics stuff someone found in a text I'd also scanned and put through PG).

ibiblio server move

The wonderful folks (ibiblio) that host Section 27(1), the dr-fun-changes mailing list, this diary you're reading right now, the SCM e-book editions, and even some teddy bear satire (which I must admit is not really being updated at the moment, partly due to worries over chewing up ibiblio's precious disc space), are having some stuff happening from Saturday, 9 September at 10am (NZST) until Sunday, 10 September at 10am (NZST). Apparently there may be some interruption in service; mail will be down for a wee bit and I won't be able to post, but the site should stay up.

One more time, thanks people for the hosting! Trying to host lots of scans of books to show the publisher's original intent (something I don't think a formatted e-text like what Project Gutenberg do) is rather (though methinks for the value of the intent, not unreasonable or overly onerous) disc intensive (not to mention slightly more demanding on bandwidth and traffic if you get the Slashdot effect or even a comparatively minor 'Public Address effect'), so everything's appreciated. :)

August 31, 2006

Sold your phone lately? Or checked your antivirus program lately?

So, you erased the information as the manual said? Seems like flash memory on phones is a little bit more resilient than you'd want it to be in this situation. Also from MSNBC today:

  • Write an e-mail that actually gets read -- one (opinionated?) person's view on the matter.
  • I'm glad my only potentially difficult encounter with a cell phone company (Vodafone New Zealand) over a billing issue (I was happy to pay the money in this case, I should add, so there wasn't a dispute there) wasn't hard to solve -- one phone call and I never (as they promised) heard back. Apparently it's no fun at all in a certain other place. Mirroring that, credit reports aren't either.
  • Last up for me, there's a debate about the ethics of creating variants of viruses for a consumer test. This is an interesting one -- I can see how creating variants can help antivirus vendors develop better heuristic logic and so on, but it just doesn't seem right.

I've also had a bit of an enlightening day on some new sources of volumes for scanning from for the Section 27(1) books today. If it comes to something, I'll write again.

August 30, 2006

Hospital services in 1973

While going through my Project Gutenberg clearances last night, I noticed I'd forgotten about scanning another book I'd got cleared -- the March 1973 tome Services for the Mentally Handicapped: Third Report of The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Hospital and Related Services. I recall submitting this royal commission report for clearance as a test case for (what should be) Section 27(1)-compliant texts, especially given that it was just 19 pages.

The other reason I think was the use of 'the mentally handicapped'. From what I can tell, it appears the more acceptable term nowadays is 'people with intellectual disabilities'. From a changes over time perspective, it's interesting.

I'll write again later once the scans are cleaned up.

Access is starting to dry up for scans of parliamentary papers, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to do next. At this stage, I'm thinking of doing huge 455-page March 1977 behemoth that is Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion in New Zealand: Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, if I can think of a way to easily scan a large volume. At least I'm not likely to even risk a fraction of a chance of destroying the spines of one of the many volumes of the AJHR -- I've found a reasonably good looking standalone copy of this report. Having a quick skim through it, there's even a chapter on the consequences of refused abortions (the procedure being practically illegal in New Zealand at the time, if I recall correctly). Egads. It's distressing stuff, the whole report.

It's great to be able to put up recent stuff in to Project Gutenberg. It's not just 'classic' texts in the pre-1922 copyright sense of the word -- for me, it's more that some of the texts I've put up are damned hard to get hold of (the irony for me is that I wanted to read some in a hurry).

On a related note, while in the Official Publications section of the VUW Library today, I was told by the librarian in attendance that the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (sometimes I've also seen it variously as Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand and Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand for whatever reason -- fortunately practically everyone calls it AJHR, though) has been renamed New Zealand Parliamentary Papers. (That is, she said, unless I wanted subject group I -- which as those eagle-eyed will know are select committee reports. Most of what I grab is in subject group H, or 'reports of commissions and committees of inquiry'.)

August 19, 2006

Analyses of some of those morality reports I've scanned

Thank goodness we've moved on from the dark days of the 1920s here in New Zealand where we'd been implored by a ministerial inquiry to take drastic measures to stop certain groups of supposed degenerates from reproducing (eugenics, anyone?) and making more babies. The question is begged, then, who are the degenerates you want to stop? Sounds very suspiciously to me like a proposal to have some really bad stuff happen.

So, thank goodness then that someone's written an analysis of 1925's Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders: Report of The Committee of Inquiry Appointed by the Hon Sir Maui Pomare, KBE, CMG, Minister of Health. My favourite part of Dana's posting:

One of the main problems? Those pesky mentally defective girls!

There are many cases of mentally defective girls, liberated from institutions in New Zealand for the purpose of engaging in domestic service or other work, returning afterwards the mothers of illegitimate children, probably also mentally defective. Unless such are to be maintained for years as wards of the State in institutions, should they ever again be allowed their liberty unless they undergo the operation of sterilization?

[um, why put the onus on the girls? What about the men who impregnated these girls?]

That's just sad. Surely men have some responsibility. Not to mention the use of the word 'girls' as opposed to 'women' or even 'ladies'.

Really, the whole thing is just great if you need a primer before reading the report. Do it. Now. Yet, this said, it's also sad reading. Personally, I'd advise discretion.

Someone, in the NZ Listener, has written a response to them on what he thinks was the trigger for my perennial favourite, the Mazengarb Report (or, of course, the Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents of 1954). I like Keith Ross's insight, but I think it doesn't take in to account that the two incidents (the 'Petone Incident' and the murder) were pretty much reported on in the media in the same week; two days even, if my notes are correct. I'd say it were an amalgam of reasons and or triggers, but I like how Keith puts it.

I like his quote from the report about the increase in newspaper purchasing by schoolchildren. I give those kids credit for knowing where to go for information! Seriously. Heh.

July 30, 2006

New EndNote link resolver settings

Mutter. VUW Library are migrating their link resolver service from LinkFinderPlus to Journal Finder (which is already being used for holdings information for journals, and also known as Article Linker), so I spent some time working out some settings to replace my current EndNote setup. Basically: if you're game (I accept no responsibility for problems!), set your OpenURL path to
http://helicon.vuw.ac.nz:2081/
or http://gx4ej7nu5f.search.serialssolutions.com/ (choose either depending on whether you want to authenticate to the library's EZproxy server first or not), and set the path to ?rft.spage=SPAGE&rfr_id=info%3asid%2fsersol%3aRefinerQuery&sid=sersol%3aRefinerQuery&citationsubmit=LookUp&rft.aulast=AULAST&SS_doi=&rft.title=TITLE&url_ver=Z39.88-2004&SS_referer=http%3a%2f%2fgx4ej7nu5f.search.serialssolutions.com%2f%3fSS_Page%3drefiner%26SS_RefinerEditable%3dyes&rft_val_fmt=info%3aofi%2ffmt%3akev%3amtx%3ajournal&rft.date=DATE&rft.atitle=ATITLE&SS_ReferentFormat=JournalFormat&rft.volume=VOLUME&SS_LibHash=GX4EJ7NU5F&rft.issn=ISSN&rft.genre=article&rft.issue=ISSUE&rft.au=&SS_styleselector=0&rft.aufirst=AUFIRST. (That's quite a long query string, so you may want to make sure that it's all pasted in there before complaining -- if you want to check, the last part of it should be 'AUFIRST'.)

[Update, 21 August: another set of, possibly better, recommended EndNote settings!]

So far, my wrangled code only works for journal articles, which in any case is good enough for me. Books are easily done on an ISBN search directly on the library catalogue, and journal titles can be had with just the title or ISSN on Journal Finder directly, whereas journal articles have to get quite a few things entered in to Journal Finder -- that is, unless one already has a DOI number such as 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1993.18030416.x.

If anyone still looks for my related Mozilla Firefox 1.0 extension for Google Scholar, if it's still working at all (and I haven't updated it for the last several Firefox releases), it probably won't work by whenever VUW Library finally switch off LinkFinderPlus. I'm not actively maintaining it now, either, as it was just a slightly customised version of someone else's Firefox extension. Though that (as at time of writing) five people downloaded the extension this week seems odd. Oh well. If I need use of it some time, I might take another look at it, but it's not high on the priority list at the moment.

July 20, 2006

More books soonish

Hot on the heels of finally getting my Jabber server back up, I'm settling on a few possible books to put on the S27(1) and PD Books pages. At this stage, it'll possibly be some of the documents surrounding An Act to specify the circumstances in which contraceptives and information relating to contraception may be supplied and given to young persons, to define the circumstances under which sterilisations may be undertaken, and to provide for the circumstances and procedures under which abortions may be authorised after having full regard to the rights of the unborn child (or, the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 for short). The related Royal Commission inquiry report might be a bit of a push with my current time commitments, so I'm considering a look primarily at the select committee reports instead. I am, nonetheless tempted to try scanning the Royal Commission report. Time will see! :)

I'm still also looking in to some 1950s-era stuff (such as Mazengarb's report, of course, but I think at this stage that I've covered the vast majority of what I'm interested in.

June 22, 2006

Postgraduate school

Yeah well, it will be over for the term by Monday. Methinks.

Which is what I've been up to. 'Regular service will resume shortly.'

On other matters, my Jabber server, greta.electric.gen.nz, is back up! Turns out all I needed was five minutes to read through and configure jabber.xml, and then three more minutes to generate a certificate and turn on port 5223. Easy! Why I didn't do it sooner... sigh. All this getting busy at postgraduate school seems silly if it was only going to take this little time.

Just in case it comes in handy for anyone else consider a move (albeit on jabberd 1.4), I'll write up the painless experience next week. (Actually, it was painful. Once I realised how simple it was.) At this rate, maybe I'll look at ejabberd as well and open registrations a little more for fun.

See y'all Monday evening, hopefully. :)

March 20, 2006

Mona Lisa, nearly starkers, with paint strippers!

Yeah, looks like someone else thought it interesting, too.

Mona Lisa... Smile? Starkers?

But, strippers? Uh... right.

Continue reading "Mona Lisa, nearly starkers, with paint strippers!" »

March 13, 2006

Going to Blog Hui 2006

Yeah, I'm going to Blog Hui 2006.

I'm also presenting there (Blog Hui, that is) too -- look for From Eternity to Here: Or, Starting One's Career (though I see it's Informing Learning Through Diarising on the conference programme). It's about an example of informing one's career through online diaries. Uh, I mean blogging.

February 21, 2006

We don't know?

Apparently none of us know what Joan of Arc looks like. I hadn't thought it mattered, but hey... :)

February 9, 2006

Another H-31A inquiry

Apparently there was quite a problem with abortions in 1937 -- septic abortions at least, anyway; I've just scanned the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Various Aspects of the Problem of Abortion in New Zealand from H-31A, Volume 3, AJHR 1937.

Once I tidy up the scans I'll publish the link.

February 2, 2006

The new advice medium?

That's medium as in media and in terms of online journals and diaries, as opposed to advice books. From One Woman's Words, it's some advice on pushy blokes -- which could basically be summed up as 'stay away'...

January 20, 2006

Who'd threaten elderly relations for money, anyway?

It'd appear that some heartless individuals are forcing elderly family members to give them money. Losers.

Elsewhere: Google resists demand to reveal search terms ...as part of a government probe of online pornography.

January 11, 2006

Back from leave

Yeah, it's the bottom of a Qantas Airways inflight plastic cup.

Yup, I'm back from leave. May the fun of working on my ibiblio collections again this year soon begin! :)

December 16, 2005

Some photos already!

And, less than half an hour later, there are some photographs on Flickr. Enjoy!

Here's a selection. More commentary later; I'm in the Launceston reference room of the Tasmanian State Library right now.

Tiny Albert eats Hungry Jack's/Burger King.

Hobart, Tasmania from Mount Wellington.

A cruise ship in Hobart harbour.

And, finally, a toilet sign that I think could be rather badly misinterpreted. Sadly. :(

Toilet sign, Highway 1, Hobart to Launceston.

See you all in a few days! :)

On leave

I'm currently on leave, taking Tiny Albert Kenby-Bear around some interesting places. I'll be posting some interesting photographs of his travels on Nikster's photo album on my return!

November 23, 2005

Upcoming new site

After a bit of discussion back and forth about my honours research project, I've decided to do part of it as a student-run website on women's studies. I've sorted out a domain name and at the moment I'm sorting out hosting. If you're interested in contributing links and short thoughts of women's, sexuality and gender issues now and again diary/blog style, drop me a line and I'll keep you in the loop. (I reserve the right to edit contributions for grammatical clarity and for markup validation purposes, but I won't edit the substance of contributions, unless a sane law court threatens me with jail or something like that. Which I'd imagine would be rather unlikely.)

Thanks!

November 19, 2005

It works!

Well, the link resolver function in EndNote 9.0.1, once again. EndNote 8.0.2 managed to break it quite spectacularly. Sigh. At least I can use it again, but now I'm wondering if using VUW's Journal Finder service would be much easier. But I have set up the link resolver stuff already, so I may as well use it.

November 13, 2005

Lies, damned lies and statistics

There are statistics, and then there some rather nasty lies.

November 2, 2005

More advertisements!

I've published more photographs of advertisements mostly targeting women from around Wellington. The prize for oddest element would be a morning-after pill billboard that has a radio station's web address in the corner. Then there's the Dove Firming 'as tested on real curves' billboard on Lambton Quay. But this text on a billboard I saw on Willis Streethad me kind of speechless. I'm not sure what to say.

Girl available for only $3.50. [Vodafone advertisement on a bus, Willis Street, Wellington.]

Yikes.

greta.electric.gen.nz crash

Just when I'd nearly finished migrating content from greta.electric.gen.nz to ibiblio, greta needs a complete rebuild. Which is probably just as well, anyway. Most of the web content that fits ibiblio's collection policy has already been moved, such as the teddy bear satire and humour websites and the dr-fun-changes mailing list.

And in the process, some new content has been added to what was migrated from greta, such as some photographs related to women's studies topics.

I hope they're of use to some people. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, for old times, of the content that's probably gone from her that (most likely) won't be migrated to the rebuilt greta is an entry in a previous incarnation of this diary, tph, from 12 October, 2003:

A quote on Maurice Sendak’s supposedly wild ‘stance against literacy’…

Spotted on an English lecturer’s door at WCE:

What is the significance of Max standing on the books on the first page of Where the Wild Things Are? Is this a stance against literacy by the author? — Signed two satisfied SCKEL 102 graduates.

On another related topic, check out the English Exemplar sheet I Was Sad When My Cat Died. Hrm.

With some luck, the rebuild of greta will be completed by mid-December.

Hopefully sooner, though, of course. :)

October 29, 2005

Islam feminists urge gender jihad

Here's something hopeful, it appears: Islam feminists urge gender jihad.

Islamic Feminism argues that the inferior legal and social status of women in Muslim countries is a result of misogynistic distortions of the teachings in the Koran.

Organisers say they want more collaboration with western feminists but say non-Muslim feminists need to challenge their anti-Islamic stereotypes.

Sounds like a really useful start for a conference.

October 28, 2005

Where's the weirdest place you have met someone?

One Woman's Words: Where's the weirdest place you have met someone?

Also on the same diary is something on Nike posters aimed at women. The apparent wording on the poster that's linked to has some, uh, rather interesting wording. I get the idea there are several interpretations that could be drawn. I'll have to look at this poster again next week when back in the office/cabin.

October 26, 2005

Things to read later

Note to self -- read these things later, especially the online diaries story...

[Listening to: Sk8er Boi -- Avril Lavigne -- Let Go (03:24)]

Oh yeah, and I got the album Let Go last week. Not bad... maybe I could do research on female artists and singers and implicit messages related to feminism for honours instead. :)

October 15, 2005

What girls really want is a cellphone

From the pages of the NZH: fun things with statistics and kids. Apparently what school-age girls really, really want is a cellphone.

And here's an interesting sort-of one: One in five cellphone owners spent more than $50 a month sending text messages.

I wonder what the heck kids spend $50 of text messages talking about?

October 8, 2005

Keeping New Zealand beautiful...

...by eating sausages. Really, you can do so, too! Or so this advertising billboard might be interpreted as saying.

However, I'm trying to give it a sympathetic interpretation, but it still looks rather odd.

The Max advertising billboard on the corner of Willis and Mercer Streets, Wellington. Another Max advertising billboard, this time near Feltex Lane, Wellington.

My resistant reading asks why there's the need for the cheerio sausages, the way they're held and eaten, and the use of the tomato sauce bottle.

But then, I'm new to this academic discipline, so time will tell. :)