The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Month: January 2007 (page 3 of 5)

Deborah McGuinness @ Duke Today

I’ll be in class during this talk, but I had a chance to have dinner and chat with Dr. Deborah McGuinness about her visit here and her talk (here from Cristin Paul’s announcement). If you get to go send me a link to your notes or add as comments here please:

What: Emerging Semantic Web Trends: Transparent and Trustworthy Applications and Semantically-Enabled Scientific Data Integration

Who: Deborah L. McGuinness, Ph.D., Acting Director, Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Stanford University
When: Tuesday, January 16 from 12:00 noon to 1:15 pm
Where: John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University (location and parking information)

Dr. Deborah L. McGuinness, international expert on Semantic Web technology, ontologies and knowledge representation,
and co-editor of the World-Wide Web Consortium’s Web Ontology Language (OWL) specification, will present this invited discussion seminar as part of the Duke Information Science & Information Studies (ISIS) “Tech Tuesdays” series.

Lunch will be provided.

The talk is of special interest to informaticians, computer scientists, and all interested in scientific data integration, metadata and the World Wide Web.
Colleagues from Duke, NCSU, NCCU, UNC and RTP organizations are all cordially invited! Please share this announcement.

Dr. McGuinness will be in the Triangle area on Monday and Tuesday (1/15-1/16). If you or your research group would like to meet with her to discuss projects or research ideas, she has time-slots available. Contact Dr. John Madden to arrange a time and location.


As web applications proliferate, more users are faced with decisions when and why to trust application advice. In order to trust information, users need to understand how it was obtained and what assumptions it depended upon. Web-based applications may use question-answering methods that are heuristic or incomplete, and they may depend on data whose origin and date are unknown. Therefore, it becomes ever more important to return answers augmented with meta-information about how the conclusions were obtained.

In this talk, Deborah McGuinness will describe an approach that can improve trust in answers generated from web applications by making the answer process more transparent. The added information provides users (humans or
agents) with answers to questions of trust, reliability, recency, and applicability.

The talk will include descriptions of a few representative applications  using cognitive assistants and intelligence analyst tools. The talk will also briefly highlight work on semantically-enabled, integrated access to scientific data. Examples will be taken from Deborah’s work on the NSF-funded Virtual Solar Terrestrial Observatory and the NASA-funded Semantically-Enabled Scientific Data Integration projects.

A Perfect Mess?

Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t need the justifications from this book, A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place, to keep the kinds of desktops that I keep. I claim to be evidence for the subtitle.

Wired’s Chris Anderson is less than pleased with the book; his commenters are divided tho.

Science Blogging Anthology is now available!

Science Blogger Conference co-organizer Bora Zivkovic writes to alert us to the Science Blogging Anthology that he’s edited:

The first of its kind, phenomenal, unbelievable collection of the best science blogging in history has just been published!?

Timed to coincide with the first Science Blogging Conference, this anthology of best 50 blog posts from science and medical blogs is now available for sale.? You can find all the information about the book, including the day-by-day blogging of the blog-typical democratic process of choosing 50 best posts of all time.

The book is available for purchase at Lulu.

Lyceum 0.34 is out

JJB announces the latest release of Lyceum over on the Lyceum blog.

Lyceum is:

  • Multi-user, multi-blog enhancement of the WordPress blogging engine.
  • Enterprise database architecture – Lyceum leverages the WordPress database architecture, extending multi-user blogging within a single instantiation of the WordPress schema.
  • N-scalable and easily distributed – Lyceum allows administrators to seamlessly distribute the application across multiple web servers, as resource demands grow.
  • Security-conscious design – Developed with a focus on security, at the application and execution layer. Leveraging the WordPress codebase, and structured to effectively deal with comment spam, administrators can feel secure with a transparent, well-designed product.
  • Ease of install and upgrade – Lyceum is designed to be easy to install and upgrade. With a minimal filesystem footprint, Lyceum remains manageable as the Blogosphere scales.
  • Perfect for the campus, enterprise – and small group – Lyceum retains the native functionality of WordPress, ensuring that groups small and large will enjoy use.

I like Brussel Sprouts

Or is that brussels sprout or … ?

While Sally was celebrating the legacy and continued work of Martin Luther King, Jr., I was doing taxi duty all over town for our teen.

The upside was that when we needed to grab a bite to eat we were very very close to one of this area’s best eateries, The Barbecue Joint. The Joint is the only place where I have ever gotten brussel sprouts intentionally. Their sprouts are the best. Cooked with a lot of garlic and lean bacon and sliced into thin rounds and still crunchy. And you get a lot! That and a bowl of Brunswick stew (keeping with the place named food) made with wild boar and chicken. Not sure if the chicken was wild or not.


Notables noticed at the Joint: Poet Jeffery Beam and Old Ceremonialist Django Haskins and pal. Not sure if any of them were eating brussel sprouts

OrangePolitics @ Berkman

Dan Gillmor of the Center for Citizen Media reports from Harvard’s Berkman Center about the Sunlight Foundation Conference where our neighbor Ruby Seinrich is talking about the Orange Politics.

pre-CSI pigs: Not for the squeamish

Folkstreams head and documentary film maker Tom Davenport writes to tell us of a time lapse video of decomposing pigs and why that is important:

My childhood friend Jerry Payne who attended Upperville school and Marshall High School two years ahead of me, did ground breaking research on insect succession in dead bodies. I made transfer of his old 1965 time lapse film and posted it here on Youtube.

His work became a foundation in modern forensic science to determine the date of death.

Here’s the YouTube text:

Jerry Payne’s experiment that led to idea of “succession” in decomposition. During the mid-1960s, when he as a graduate student at Clemson University in SC, Jerry Payne began to lay the groundwork for another modern approach: succession. Simply stated, succession is the idea that as each organism or group of organisms feeds on a body, it changes the body. This change in turn makes the body attractive to another group of organisms, which changes the body for the next group, and so on until the body has been reduced to a skeleton. This is a predictable process, with different groups of organisms occupying the decomposing body at different times. In his landmark paper, published in the journal Ecology in 1965, Jerry Payne detailed the changes that occurred during the decomposition of pig carcasses that were exposed to insects, compared to the changes in pig carcasses that were protected from insect activity. This work built on and refined studies conducted almost 70 years earlier in France by Megnin. Megnin recognized nine stages of decomposition, but Payne recognized only six, introducing the system currently used by most forensic entomologists. Payne further emphasized the great variety of organisms involved in the process, recording over 500 species. Payne also conducted other experiments, including studies of submerged carrion.

“The technique of time-lapse photography is employed to illustrate the rapid removal of carrion (4 days reduced to approximately 6 minutes). The film demonstrates the sequence of tissue destruction and the role of insects in the ultimate dismemberment of the pig carcass and soil movement. The pink and purple beads were added to show the intense activities of the insects in moving the carcass and soil.

The original film (copyright 1965) is with Jerry Payne in Musella, GA. Tom Davenport (Hollinfarms) grew up with Jerry in rural Northern Virginia.

PERFORM – Double Plus Ungood for Radio and Netio

SlashDot, Boingboing and EFF all alert us of the pending PERFORM (“Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music”) [EFF Summary with links to bill and links for action]. Like PATRIOT, the bills would take rights from citizens.

JAFSlashdotter explains briefly:

“If you enjoy MP3 or OGG streams of internet radio, it’s time to pay attention. This week U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander, Joseph Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and Lindsey Graham decided to reintroduce the ‘Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act’. An Ars Technica article explains that PERFORM would restrict our rights to make non-commercial recordings under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, and require satellite and internet broadcasters to use ‘technology to prevent music theft’. That means goodbye to your favorite streaming audio formats, hello DRM. The EFF said pretty much the same when this bill last reared its ugly head in April of 2006. It’s too soon to get the text of this year’s version (S.256) online, but it likely to resemble last year’s S.2644, which is available through Thomas.”

Rude Mechanicals Get Your War On

Our neighbor, David Rees, (well, he lives in NYC now but he grew up here) has had his wonderful cartoon books “Get Your War On” made into a stage show in NYC. Sally has the story here.

Science Blogging – One week out!

science bloggers conference logo

Next Saturday at this time, I’ll be at the Science Bloggers Conference on the UNC Campus in Murphey Hall. Bora and Anton send us this update:

1. Time & Place
We’re one week away from the conference, and we’re looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, January 20 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Note that we’ll be meeting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Murphey Hall; visit the wiki to find driving directions, parking information and campus landmarks. Please plan to arrive at Murphey Hall between 8:15am and 9am to sign in, get a grab bag and swill some coffee.

Important note to those of you flying into RDU: a taxi from RDU to Chapel Hill costs about $50. If you’re on a budget and would like a ride from the airport, please send Anton a message soon so we can match you up with volunteer drivers. And, most of the Chapel Hill hotels are at the bottom of the hill, so be sure to ask your hotel in advance if they’ll be able to shuttle you to UNC’s campus.

2. Registrants
As of this writing, we’re at 164 registrants for the event. We have space for 170, and we’ll likely close the registration this weekend. If you know now that you won’t be able to join us, please contact Anton ASAP to free up your seat for someone on the waitlist.

3. Skills Session

Some of you have indicated your interest in attending the pre-conference skills session Thurs, Jan 18 from 2-4 p.m. If you haven’t already done so, please send a reply message to Anton to confirm your attendance at that session, as we’ve hit our limit of 30 people for that.

4. Program

The conference program has filled out nicely, and we encourage you to visit the wiki to see how the day has been planned. Notice the various breakout sessions — we encourage you to think about which sessions you want to attend and to think now about how you’d like to contribute to the discussions in those sessions. You might even want to post relevant links or questions to the wiki pages for those sessions, or publish a blog entry (if so, see the tagging suggestion below).

5. Mingling

As you no doubt have found at other professional and technology conferences, the most rewarding part of these events are the hallway conversations. Please come prepared to greet old friends, meet new acquaintances and share your knowledge and experiences with others.

6. Group Dinners

One good way to mingle with new and old friends is to join one of the group dinners that will happen after the official conference. Groups will be dining at various Chapel Hill restaurants Saturday evening. This is pay-your-own-way, so we’ve chosen places with good food and good prices. Please sign up now for one of these group dinners at the wiki dining page.

7. Friday night dinner

For those of you who will be in town the night before the conference, we’ll be hosting another group dinner (also pay-your-own-way). At this dinner we’ll be featuring blog readings from any and all
bloggers in attendance. If you can join us, please sign up at the
wiki dining page.

8. Liveblogging & Tagging

When you registered for the conference, you were asked to provide your MAC address for access to the university wifi. If you didn’t provide this when you registered, please send Anton a message with your MAC address. During the conference, you’ll then have free wifi. We encourage you to liveblog the sessions so that others can learn from this event. Please also post pictures, podcasts and video clips — we’ll be using the tag ‘sciencebloggingconference’ at Technorati, Flickr, YouTube and other sites. Bora’s our ringleader on this, so please send him suggestions or your links.

9. Fundraising

Last but not least, this is a reminder that the conference is free and open to all. We’ve found sponsors and donors for this event, and expect to have most of our expenses covered for the day. Still, if you have a rich uncle, a winning Lotto ticket under your mattress, or a benevolent boss with an inclination to support the public understanding of science, please help us secure our last couple hundred dollars. Contact Anton directly.

OK, that’s all. We’ll have one or two more update messages before the conference. Now, head over to the wiki, please:

JJB teaches us how to eat

JJB teaches us how to eat a Limey Crepe (video by Courtney Pulitzer).

How I met Jimi Hendrix

We were sitting at the local great burrito place when the house music starting going through what must have been a Jimi Hendrix CD. My son started laughing as “Purple Haze” came on — what he and his pals call the “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” song.

Well, have I ever told you about the time I met Jimi Hendrix? I asked. That got his attention and the attention of my wife who is sure that she’s heard all of my stories by now.

It was in 1967. A couple of us wanted to go meet girls. We couldn’t meet girls by walking in those days. So instead we walked over to our friend Lee’s house. His parents owned a GTO which they would occassionally let him drive. A GTO was a great car which facilitated the meeting of girls.

There was a catch though. Lee’s younger sister, Ginger, wanted to go to the Red Carpet Inn — a smallish what we would now call a boutique hotel — where it was pretty well unkept secret the Monkees were staying before their big concert. Ginger and a friend wanted to see Monkees and to scream when they saw them.

We drove to the Red Carpet and saw even from a distance that there were many versions of Ginger already there. They didn’t need the sight of a Monkee to get them screaming. They screamed over anyone with hair on their head. Or at no one at all.

We pulled in and let Ginger and her friend out. And we began to wander around. My friend Norman and I got separated from the rest.

Norm and I ended up talking with the laundry crew. Some slow talking African-Americans who were surrounded by carts of sheets and towels.

“You boys wanna go to the Monkee floor?” one asked.

We looked at each other. “Sure, how do we do that?”

“Just get on this freight elevator and go to the top with me.”

We did. And soon we were on the Monkee floor, but we didn’t see Monkees — yet.

“Maybe they’re over by the pool,” said our guide.

We went over to the roof top pool.

Who we saw there were obviously not Monkees.

There was a lanky black man with the most massive display of hair I’d ever seen sprawled on one of the chairs. He was wearing a colorful speedo bathing suit.

Not far from him was his mirror image. A very very pale man with what could only be described as a Scot-fro. A red hair version of an Afro. Also in a speedo and also very thin.

“Whacha doing here,” asked the darker of the two.

“We’re looking for Monkees,” I said.

“Ain’t no F**king Monkees round this pool.”

With that we left and quickly back down the freight elevator.

We heard that there was a strange opening band for the Monkees that night. No one knew what to make of them.

About a week or two later, we heard of some wild music happening at Monterey. And a new band started getting a lot of air play. The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

This is what Wikipedia says about that time:

The Monkees also helped bring America’s attention to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, who they took on as an opening act during their Summer 1967 concert tour. Hendrix quit the tour after only a few shows. Reports circulated at the time that he had been removed after complaints from the conservative women’s group Daughters of the American Revolution. This was later proved false, and it has since been revealed that the story was concocted for publicity purposes by Hendrix’s camp; it has also been suggested that Hendrix’s management deliberately picked an unsuitable tour to create public controversy. There is no doubt that Hendrix and his group were frustrated at appearing before audiences largely populated by youngsters, who had no interest or appreciation of their brand of musical innovation. During the performance of “Foxy Lady,” though the crowd appeared to be singing along with Hendrix, they were in fact impatiently singing “Foxy Davy”.

India and Open Source in 8.5 minutes

Red Hat Magazine has a great 8.5 minute video posted about India and Intellectual Property in the context of the Owning the Future Symposium posted. Here. Well worth 8.5 minutes of your attention.

Lilly, You’ll always be hot to me

Yvonne as Lilly

Yvonne De Carlo (nee Peggy Yvonne Middleton) who played a number of hot but minor roles including most famously to me Lilly Munster died Monday.

Of the Munsters, De Carlo said (as quoted on CNN): “It meant security. It gave me a new, young audience I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It made me ‘hot’ again, which I wasn’t for a while.”

Lilly, although I’m much shorter than Herman, you’ll always be ‘hot’ with me.

Could it be that shock of white hair that drives me wild?


Just took a call from Charlotte Observer columnist and BBQ author Dan Huntley about the Moonshine site on

Back in 1997, I was teaching a class called “Cyberpublishing and Cybercasting” in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication here at UNC-Chapel Hill. I took the class up to the wonderful Southern Historical Collection and asked to them to create multi-media websites based on the rich collection of materials there.

Michael Manning, Eric Chernoff and Sarah Smith chose to work with materials about Moonshine in North Carolina including photographs, music and movie clips as well as a lot of great factual material.

For 1997, the site was pretty advanced and except for some visual design elements it stands up as a good and very useful and amusing site a decade later. Michael, Eric and Sarah did a great job. (I should check and see what grades they earned ;->).

Music of the iPhone Intro

What does it say that these songs were the ones used as examples of who great the iPod-like features of the iPhone are:

  1. Beatles – from Sargent Pepper’s “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Lovely Rita” [note: not for sale at the iTunes store – yet]
  2. Bob Dylan – from Highway 61 Revisitied “Like a Rolling Stone”
  3. Greenday – from American Idiot “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
  4. Talking Heads – from Stop Making Sense “Life During Wartime”

Then TV, Movies, websites and people noticed:

  1. The Office (beginning with an acknowledgement of NBC)
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  3. Google Maps
  4. NY Times
  5. Amazon
  6. “An Inconvenient Truth” with props to Al Gore
  7. Starbucks in SFO on Google Maps [but the Delocator would be good too]
  8. Eric Schmidt of Google
  9. Jerry Yang of Yahoo
  10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – from Stadium Arcadium

ibiblio @ Duke

I’ll be speaking about contributor-run digital libraries at Duke‘s John Hope Franklin Center‘s TechTuesdays on Tuesday January 23. We’re delaying the start of the talk from the regular TechTuesday time — starting at noon:30. The announcement is below and on the ISIS TechTuesday site. I’ll be creating a wiki entry for the talk to which you may add stuff if you like and/or you can leave comments on what I should be saying to this post.

ISIS TechTuesdays featuring Paul Jones
January 23, 2007, 12:30-1:45 PM
John Hope Franklin Center 240

Paul Jones, founder of and director of, will present “Participatory Digital Libraries – Past and Futures; the ibiblio trends,” in which he will talk about experiences and futures of Contribtor-run Digital Libraries and Digital Repositories with some particular focus on the ibiblio tends. This will be somewhat of an update of his paper “Open (source)ing the doors for contributor-run digital libraries.[PDF]” Communications of the ACM. Volume
44 , Issue 5 (May 2001). Also at
or if you prefer the Japanese language version

I need an iPhone

Announcement being liveblogged at engadget. Sooooooo cool it’ll freeze your fingers.

Official Apple page here.

You can view Steve Jobs announcing the iPhone here.

Revisiting the Speaker Ban at UNC

At a Journalism faculty meeting in which a film, featuring in part the Speaker Ban Law, is being shown, “Crossroads on the Hill” which is a fine history of the uneasy relationships between the state of North Carolina and its principles and the state of North Carolina.

Not “Beyond the Wall” which would have been great.

Ferrell Guillory is introducing. Notes below are from Ferrell’s talk.
Jock Lauderer was the photographer for much of this. Bill Friday confessed to having advised the students on how to sue the University (“If the Trustees knew what I was doing, they should have fired me”).

Two currents of NC politics. New South and Old South, say. Traditionalists (rural and small town; Lake, Helms etc) vs Progressives (Sanford, Friday). Progressives (public-private partnership. business, banks, insurance are one leg. state government is one including public schools. university of nc as the third leg. this is progressive as forward looking not to be confused by progressive as a substitute for liberal).

Not in the film: Robert Morgan (later US Senator; at the time a pro-Ban legislator, but he changed as he became NC Atty General and a consumer activist) and Jesse Helms (later US Senator; at the time and editorialist at WRAL Channel 5 and very pro-Ban)

Although on TV, none of the Helms video editorials are to be found. Text versions exist.

Your Life Work: Librarian

These racks and shelves contain a lot of books… How do you feel about them? Do they mean something to you? Are they your friends?

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