Where are LIBRARIES headed?

I spend a lot of time in libraries. They are good. But could be much better.

Eric Klinenberg spent a year researching libraries for his book Palaces for the People.

How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life

Social infrastructure is the glue that binds communities together, and it is just as real as the infrastructure for water, power, or communications, although it’s often harder to see.

But Eric Klinenberg says that when we invest in social infrastructures such as libraries, parks, or schools, we reap all kinds of benefits. We become more likely to interact with people around us, and connected to the broader public. If we neglect social infrastructure, we tend to grow more isolated, which can have serious consequences.

Calgary Public Library

I heard Klinenberg interviewed on the 99% Invisible podcast. His argument was compelling.

I’d love to see libraries expand their programs. Increase the hours they are open.

Libraries are unofficial sanctuaries for street people, at least during daylight. That should be formalized.

Libraries could be much, much better.


my first visit to Oxford

I’d always wanted to visit Oxford.

Radcliffe Camera

Must be the academic elitist in me. And I am a big fan of the Inspector Morse detective novels set in Oxford.

For the tourist it’s well worth the short trip from London.

With an estimated 2016 population of 170,000 Oxford is easily walkable. And runable.

The city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

The University has been a thing since at least the 12th-century. I took a guided tour with the highlights being all the weird Hogwarts-esque traditions still in effect at the many historic Colleges there. The Tortoise Race is new having been started in 1920. 

Here are a few photos from my wanderings.

massive bookstore mostly underground


Lawrence of Arabia

Oxford High Street in the 1890s

World Sustainable Development Goals


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were the eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

All 191 United Nations member states at that time, and at least 22 international organizations, committed …

As of 2013, progress towards the goals was uneven. …

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the MDGs in 2016.

related – Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, dies

LeBron’s new school in Ohio

… “It’s not a charter school, it’s not a private school, it’s a real-life school in my hometown.” …

Its lengthy school day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with an extended school year that runs from July through May. During a seven-week summer session, the school will provide STEM-based camps. …

… free breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks. They will have access to a fitness trainer. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The school is launching with third- and fourth-graders, but plans to add grades each year until it houses first through eighth grade in 2022.

Students get one other notable benefit: If they successfully complete the school program and graduate from high school, James will cover their full tuition at the local public college, University of Akron.


why are old people so gullible?

Lunch at the Shouldice Hernia hospital. Six old white men who never met one another before. All educated. All affluent.

Two of the six believe in all kinds of 9/11 conspiracy theories. They trust some documentary they’ve seen and not the facts.

One of the six contested everything they said. Smart man. I admired him in a way.

I kept quiet. There’s no use arguing with old idiots.

I left as they began blaming Clinton/Obama for the deliberate domestic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. It was revealing to see the motivation of that documentary. Needless to say, I didn’t remind them that 9/11 was on the G.W. Bush watch.

At the next table was an old educated white guy from California. His research brought him to this hospital believing it was best in the world. Yep, that guy is 100% Trump. He believes everything Trump says. Believes anything contradicting Trump is #FakeNews.

Likely I’m the same. An old white man who’s not going to change my opinion on much for the rest of my years.

Trump is a toddler

I question whether or not the G7 is worth the cost and trouble.

On the upside, in 2018 a $3bn pledge for girls’ education was announced.

AND I’m pleased some world leaders stood up to the irrational egomaniac. You have to call out this kind of stupidity. Even if you suffer consequences. Trump won’t be around forever.