Big Citizenship Discussion with Co-Founder of City Year, Thurs. Oct 14

Alan Khazei, co-founder of City Year and CEO/founder of Be the Change, Inc., has written a new book — Big Citizenship — and is coming to campus to discuss the book and highlight Northeastern students who are Big Citizens. “‘Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others,’ Robert Kennedy famously wrote, ‘he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.’ No one better exemplifies the truth of these words than Alan Khazei, the co-founder of City Year. In this stirring call to arms, Khazei lays out a path for the renewal of America, which should provoke conversation, debate and action.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and presidential historian. Who: Alan Khazei with Barry Bluestone Where: Curry Student Center Ballroom When: Thursday October 14th, 2:30-4:00pm What: Discussion and Book Signing with Alan Khazei!!

Going Global

On Sunday, a few friends and I decided that the Christian Science Center was worth investigating after 2+ years of walking curiously in its shadow. Inside, we found this (above). This enormous glowing globe – house is called the Mapparium. Its a three story painted glass globe that you walk inside. It’s inside the Mary Baker Eddy Library on Mass. Avenue, and it’s preeeetttty awesome. There is a fee to enter the Mapparium, which is bogus, but hey, its a measly four dollars for a unique, thought-provoking experience — more than you’d get out of a Big Mac (also four dollars) from the McDonald’s next door. You enter on a bridge suspended in the earth’s core (super cool). Then a brief light show begins (super cool) during which you examine the foreign cartography of this three-dimensional map made in 1935 (super cool). Like, what is French Indo-China? Oh, and this happens to be super cool: the acoustics of the perfect sphere are quite unique. From the center, your voice is very loud. I happened to be standing in the center. I’ve never felt so powerful, or so entertained. Not to mention somewhat rude. From the edge of the bridge, your voice can be heard very clearly by the person on the other side of the bridge, but not by others in the center, so two can have a secret conversation in plain globe-light. Everything about this place is… well, I think you know how I feel about it. I vote we get one of these at Snell instead of an Alumni Reading Room. No offense, Mom (class of ’82).

E-books? How about FREE-Books?!

If the phrase “digital library” makes you think only of Snell’s e-journals and online research databases, think again. This digital library will blow your mind. Project Gutenberg is a digital library that has 33,000 e-books, but here’s the catch–you can download them all for free. And trust me, they’re good books, too. Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Tale of Two Cities… You’ve heard of them. These are just the first few titles I skim over as I access the library home page. But how do they do this for free? It just makes no sense. It’s almost too good to be true. Almost. Most of these books are available on Project Gutenberg because their copyrights have expired and are now essentially public works. So yeah, there won’t be any brand new bestsellers such as The Girl Who Played With Fire, but there are many thousands of timeless novels to get lost in. Every book is available in formats accessible regardless of your technologies abilities (mostly plain text or html). You and your laptop are about to become best friends. A nearly endless supply of free books. It’s just what your summer needs. Hey, they even have Moby Dick available on Project Gutenberg… I think someone should tell damong. Check it out! Now!

Pinball Wizardry

Once again, the Research & Instruction department held its annual Pinball Tournament. R&I Librarians competed for a deluxe championship prize in this annual event. Previous champion (yours truly) got the contestants on track, made sure flippers worked and that the contestants knew how to find the controls. For 30 minutes, the sounds of pinball filled the room. Winner was Sandy Dunphy, with a top score of 3,915,000 points. I’d post a few photos, but nothing will load them up. Congratulations to Sandy, our new Pinball champion!

a little slow

I cannot believe I’ve never heard of PowerPoint Karaoke – and it’s been around for some time. This has to be one of the best ideas I’ve heard of recently.