Sunday, August 30, 2009

Episode 18 - Remembering the Interrupted Creativity

Well this is the final episode before the coming academic term at Algoma University, where we all work. The topic turned, not surprisingly, to education. (A note, the SD card that I use on the recorder ended up filling up so we end abruptly around 59 minutes or so, perhaps this is some sort of sign to shorten the damned episodes a little...)

We talked a bit about our experiences in education, including one from Robin where he talked about a prof whose name I edited out at Western. The key, you should not complain if the course materials are in Arabic...

Of course we talked a little about education in the past, and some sci fi, though not much. We also talked about the importance of memory vs creativity in learning.

Then Ken told us about blowing stuff up with the Canadian Armed Forces...

Enjoy episode 18

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Episode 17 - Searching For Evergreens

Yeah, we have all been talking about the Yahoo/Microsoft deal and Bing and google and what have you, but have you ever thought about the searching you do, and have done well before there were search engines? I am talking here about library searching. Yes of course, Ken and Robin are our library guys here at Algoma University, and if you have ever listened to TC at all you know that we talk a lot about libraries, but this is a very special episode.... (cue cheesy music).

We were joined by Art Rhyno of the University of Windsor and Dan Scott and Kevin Beswick of Laurentian University, librarians all, ok Kevin is sort of a poser librarian, but well, I was outnumbered by the librarians. Happily, later Maddie and Isabelle showed up. These guys are setting up an open source catalogue for our libraries. This is VERY cool, even for me, captain psychology. Evergreen, the open ILS system is now used all over the place, even Armenia!

Now there are times in this episode where I have no idea what the heck they are talking about, but for the most part they made it clear. The key thing here is that they are doing this open source, and this is the opposite of the way it usually works.

We did not talk too much Sci Fi in this one, and only a little history. The history we did talk about was about the Library of Congress, that apparently was started out by a donation from Thomas Jefferson, who knew? OK, like all the library guys knew and I am an idiot... I think the Dewey Decimal System is a scam, as Kramer mentioned in Seinfeld. Apparently Dewey is not open, whereas Library of Congress is. This just reinforces the point to me.

Many thanks to Art (who has a community newspaper in Essex, ON) Dan Scott (who has a fine blog called CoffeeCode and self confessed library nerd in training Kevin Beswick.

Oh and Dan has the best radio voice ever.

I hope you enjoy episode 17.