Honors for ibiblians

These past few weeks have been full of honors for several of our former ibiblio staff and students.

Fred Stutzman‘s company, 80pct Solutions, was awarded an NC IDEA grant to help build on the good business in preventing or at least managing distractions with his early products, Freedom and Anti-Social. “We’re pushing back on the notion that your devices should constantly distract you,” Stutzman says.

Nassib Nassar progressed to the semi-final round of the premier national classical music recording competition,The American Prize, in the professional division. You can hear Nassib at his ibiblio site and at his own personal site.

Gabriel Dance received a Pulitzer Prize citation for his work on NSA Files: Decoded What the Revelations Mean To You at The Guardian. Gabe has since joined The Marshall Project, a not-for-profit non-partisan news organization covering the US criminal justice system as managing editor in charge of digital journalism.

Judson Knott, who was the guiding hand and strong supporter of things ibiblian from our earliest days as LaUNChpad and sunsite.unc.edu, has taken a well deserved retirement from UNC – Chapel Hill. I cannot say how much all of us owe to Judd. It’s always been clear to me that ibiblio would have never existed without him and his ability to make to unbelievable into something real and sustainable for over 20 years.

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May is Honeysuckle Time

When we think of the honeysuckle, we have mixed feelings. Invasive? Bee-filled danger. Sweet nectarous blooms. Scent of the newly hot nights of May.


For Philip Freneau, called “That Rascal” and “The Poet of the American Revolution,” The Wild Honeysuckle may have been the beginning of American Transcendentalism:

Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
Hid in this silent, dull retreat,
Untouched thy homed blossoms blow,
Unseen thy little branches greet:
No roving foot shall crush thee here,
No busy hand provoke a tear.

By Nature’s self in white arrayed,
She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,
And planted here the guardian shade,
And sent soft waters murmuring by;
Thus quietly thy summer goes,
Thy days declining to repose.

Smit with those charms, that must decay,
I grieve to see your future doom;
They died—nor were those flowers more gay,
The flowers that did in Eden bloom;
Unpitying frosts, and Autumn’s power,
Shall leave no vestige of this flower.

From morning suns and evening dews
At first thy little being came;
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
For when you die you are the same;
The space between is but an hour,
The frail duration of a flower.

In Bluegrass, Honeysuckle can be a Rose or a band name.

For birders, Honeysuckle is a way to attract hummingbirds.

Children reading “The Fairy Night Caps” in 1861 learned:

Of course the elderly gentlemen fairies lounged among the honeysuckles, and talked politics, and quarrelled dreadfully about who should be the next President; for they took an immense interest in the affairs of us mortals; and the elderly lady fairies just as much, of course, pulled the characters of their best friends to pieces, without so much as a single regret; while the lovely young Queen, with half-a-dozen of her favorites, after dancing once, to set the fashion, ordered her pages to shake down a perfect shower of wild-rose leaves, on the edge of the hollow, of which they made soft and freshly perfumed couches; and there they listened to the exquisite music, and watched the dancers, and gaily devised plans for the comfort of our dear little friend, Lame Charley.

Sweet in all ways, save the invasive varieties, but now in season with the nectar ready to put to good use as sorbet and more.

Second April

Our feelings toward April are mixed. As Edna St. Vincent Millay writes in “Second April”

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots,
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Not that we don’t enjoy April — despite the pollen — and we love that life seems fresh and new. But sometimes we too need a bit of help with our collective buzz:

Doctor Fun - Bees that drink decaf

Our biggest ibiblio buzz is that former ibiblian, Gabriel Dance, was cited in this year’s Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Guardian‘s NSA Files: Decoded.