In the my session the talk before me was by Jennifer McGillan (Mississippi State University) called “Archivists in Lockdown: When Your Research is Your Self-Care,” which was about her pandemic project of working through a book of award-winning recipes using Heinz ketchup, published by Heinz in 1957. She’d also done research searching through old newspapers to find out about the contest and the award-winners. The talk after was by Dawn Wing: “Let’s Talk Comics, Let’s Talk Research.” She’s an artist who does comics and graphic novels, and she talked about how she uses them in her library work and about a biographical project she’s done. They were great company for my talk. We’re all taking things from our library and archives work and transforming them into something new.
I also want to point out the two great examples of performance librarianship that I saw, as mentioned in my talk. It’s wonderful to see so many people using their work and experience in libraries and archives as a starting point for creative art and performance.
Today I published Listening to Art volume eight number twelve: Rudy Rucker, Red Scribble. (Rucker’s blog is worth browsing if you’re new to him.)
That’s ninety-six issues published over four years. On 15 May I’ll start volume nine. Fate willing, one day I’ll be able to get back into galleries to do some fresh recordings. Meanwhile I’m pulling from my archive and making some recordings that meet my local movement restrictions.
Framework Radio has reached episode 750! It’s an incredible radio show and podcast. Host and producer Patrick McGinley has been running it since 2002, and the sound and music he’s collected and edited over the years has become a remarkable body of work.
“Framework is a show consecrated to field-recording, and its use in composition. Field-recording, phonography, the art of sound-hunting; open your ears and listen!”
Listen to a couple of recent episodes (preferable with headphones), and if it’s at all your kind of thing, subscribe and listen every week. (Then consider supporting it.)
I’m probably years behind everyone else on this, but I just learned about the compose key.
I’d always wondered how other people who used the Latin alphabet—French-speakers in Canada, even—were able to write accented characters like à or é, not to mention people further abroad who needed the Icelandic þ or Turkish Ş. European keyboards have different keys on them, but did people with American keyboards always copy and paste from somewhere else? In Emacs I use the Ivy, Swiper and Counsel package that lets me use counsel-unicode-char (bound to C-c 8) to search for any Unicode character, and C-x 8 RET is a built-in command that does the same. But I don’t want to copy characters from a temporary Emacs buffer into a web browser.
Then I discovered that the whole series was uploaded to YouTube! Here’s the first episode: Disguise for Murder. The rest are easily findable, either in the sidebar or by searching for “cbc nero wolfe.”
I wanted to download them all, and for the sake of future me I’ll document what I did, with youtube-dl to download and then ffmpeg to convert to MP3 (with a tip from Stack Overflow; I find ffmpeg cryptic). There’s probably a better way, but this works.
I did this for all thirteen, then edited the metdata with EasyTag.
I became an associate member of the Free Software Foundation about six years ago and gave it a monthly donation to support its work. It was founded by Richard Stallman (known as RMS), who among other achievements created Emacs in the 1970s. I use it every day.
In September 2019 RMS made offensive comments connected to Jeffrey Epstein and donations to MIT (see MIT scientist resigns over emails discussing academic linked to Epstein in the Guardian for some details). Like many others, I told the FSF I would stop my donations if RMS didn’t leave. I got a quick response—the same day the whole thing happened, I think—saying he was gone. Good. I continued my donations. I understood people were working to improve the environment at the FSF, but didn’t know any details.
On Sunday at the Libre Planet 2021 conference there was a surprise announcement from RMS that he was back on the FSF board. (“No LibrePlanet organizers (staff or volunteer), speakers, award winners, exhibitors, or sponsors were made aware of Richard Stallman’s announcement until it was public,” tweeted @fsf.) I was amazed and appalled. It’s unbelievable the board did this and, once it was done, that the FSF handled it so badly.
I emailed the FSF to cancel my monthly donation immediately. I haven’t heard back yet. I imagine the poor staff are overwhelmed. Even if RMS is kicked off yet again, the only way I might possibly one day support the FSF is if its governance is completely overhauled.
I was reading The Death Bird Contract, one of the Joe Gall spy novels by Philip Atlee, and discovered that the author, whose real name was James Atlee Phillips, had no Wikipedia entry, so I created James Atlee Phillips. I cite a New York Times obit that a little research reveals has mistakes.
I didn’t finish the book. Compared to Donald Hamilton’s excellent Matt Helm series it was racist, lurid and overwrought.