Category Archives: Free News Experiment

Planning to overthrow the US Government?


If yes, and you live in South Carolina, you must pay a five-dollar subversive registration fee. (Via BoingBoing, Via The Agitator)

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 167 user reviews.

Today I received an email inviting me to a webinar on OMEKA, a web based platform for all kinds of collections created by the Center For History & New Media. This sounds pretty great and I definitely am going to read up on this, if not try to watch the webinar (and I’m sorry to have already used the word webinar twice, you’ll have to suffer through it a couple more times I’m afraid)

Here is a blurb from the release for the webinar:

“Omeka is a free and open source collections-based, Web-based platform for scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, educators and cultural enthusiasts. Until now, scholars and cultural heritage professionals looking to publish collections-based research and online exhibitions required either extensive technical skills or considerable funding for outside vendors…

Omeka features a “five-minute setup” that makes launching an online exhibition as easy as launching a blog. Designed with non-IT specialists in mind, it allows users to focus on content and interpretation rather than programming. It brings Web 2.0 technologies and approaches to academic and cultural Web sites to foster user interaction and participation. It also makes top-shelf design easy with a simple and flexible operating system. Omeka’s robust open-source developer and user communities underwrite its stability and sustainability…

Webinar participation is free and open to all but advanced registration is required. This is the second webinar in the OCLC Research Technical Advances for Innovation in Cultural Heritage Institutions (TAI CHI) Webinar Series developed to highlight specific innovative applications, often locally developed, that libraries, museums and archives may find effective in their own environments, as well as to teach technical staff new technologies and skills.  We intend to make recordings of these webinars available on the OCLC Research Web site and in the iTunes Store.”

Imagine the uses for this if it’s as flexible as it seems! Not just for libraries, but “cultural enthusiasts”, and who isn’t a cultural enthusiast of some kind?

More info and advance registration link HERE

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 165 user reviews.

original story here

‘people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen’.

“According to an iReport by Chrisopher Pagan: “On November 14 the body of a gay 19 year old was found a few miles away from the town in which he was residing in called Caguas. He was a very well known person in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and very loved. He was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey, he was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso. This has caused a huge reaction from the gay community here, but its a difficult situation. Never in the history of Puerto Rico has a murder been classified as a hate crime. Even though we have to follow federal mandates and laws, many of the laws in which are passed in the USA such as Obama’s new bill, do not always directly get practiced in Puerto Rico. The police agent that is handling this case said on a public televised statement that ‘people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen’. As If the boy murdered Jorge Steven Lopez was asking to get killed…”

Jorge Here’s a report on the murder (in Spanish) from Said activist Pedro Julio Serrano: “It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt. We demand condemnation of this investigator and demand that Superintendente Figueroa Sancha replace him with someone capable of investigating this case without prejudice.” (my translation, please suggest a better one if you can).”

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The Banned Librarian has put together a clear concise guide to both current issues surrounding the Patriot Act, and the sections that are scheduled to sunset in December of 2009.

It includes:


  • The PATRIOT Act Itself
  • Treatises on the Law
  • Helpful Articles
  • Oversight & Watchdog Reports
  • Prior Cases


  • Pending Bills to Reform
  • Outstanding Cases
  • Useful Websites for Staying Current

Download the pdf HERE

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 207 user reviews.

For over a year a prison in Virginia segregated women they perceived as masculine or butch (those with short hair or ‘baggy clothes’), in order to separate them from their ‘girlfriends’. The Associated Press and civil rights advocates questioned the practice, with the warden stating that no such move was made, as that would be unconstitutional.


Trina O’Neal, left, and Casey Lynn Toney were two of the inmates placed in the so-called “Butch Wing” at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Va. “I have been gay all my life and never have I once felt as degraded, humiliated or questioned my own sexuality, the way I look, etc., until all of this happened, ” stated O’Neal, 33. “Women sent to wing 5D — also called the “little boys wing, ” “locker room wing, ” and “studs wing” — told the AP they were verbally harassed by staff there, and taken to the cafeteria first or last to keep them separated from other inmates. Three guards confirmed the charges.”

Read more HERE & HERE

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 238 user reviews.

I first heard this on NPR and then was reminded by the Provisions Library Blog (which is excellent).

The White House has created a new office, one of Social Innovation & Civic Participation, and has named Sonal Shah, who was in charge of global development at Google, as the lead. I haven’t heard as much about this as I’d like to, but apparently the office will identify “the most promising, results-oriented nonprofit programs” “that have had proven success in tackling social problems, such as homelessness and joblessness” and will fund them hopefully with a combination of  50, 000, 000 earmarked in the 2010 budget & matching funds from philantropists and large organizations. Ironically, the first hit under Google News on the new office  is from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, but only for subscribers..

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 164 user reviews.

I’m sad that I found out about this through Boing Boing, but I am so glad that they posted on this.

Paul Williams is a terrific writer who I was lucky enough to meet many years ago. A champion of the then booming and vibrant San Diego music scene, Paul befriended us all, and we were always happy to see his big grin out in the audience at shows. He was a biographer of Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Neil Young, created the seminal Crawdaddy magazine, and was a friend and supporter of Phillip K Dick, writing about him in Rolling Stone and eventually serving as Dick’s  literary executor after his passing. You can thank Paul for the fact that nearly all of Dick’s work is still available.

I for one spent an entire year waking up every morning to read one page of Waking Up Together, and still have the battered copy he inscribed to me. In 1995 he had a horrible bicycle accident that caused traumatic brain injury. Although he recovered amazingly, regaining speech and the ability to walk, his health has been steadily declining since then. The last time I was at his house, he seemed unable to get out of bed–I have been out of touch with both he and Cindy for many years & am so dismayed to hear that he continues to struggle, and that the impact on his family has reached the point where they are now asking for help. Please take the time to visit the site set up to support him and his family, even if you don’t have the ability to donate to his family to help with his care.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 232 user reviews.

–Mr Kambaksh was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death last year for circulating an essay on women’s rights which questioned verses in the Koran.

It later emerged he was convicted by three mullahs, in secret, without access to a lawyer. The sentence was commuted to 20 years on appeal. At that appeal, in October, the key prosecution witness withdrew his testimony, claiming he had been forced to lie on pain of death. The prosecution then appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentence. The defence appealed to quash his conviction altogether.–

From the Independent online:

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, the student journalist sentenced to death for blasphemy in Afghanistan, has been told he will spend the next 20 years in jail after the country’s highest court ruled against him – without even hearing his defence.

The 23-year-old, brought to worldwide attention after an Independent campaign, was praying that Afghanistan’s top judges would quash his conviction for lack of evidence, or because he was tried in secret and convicted without a defence lawyer. Instead, almost 18 months after he was arrested for allegedly circulating an article about women’s rights, any hope of justice and due process evaporated amid gross irregularities, allegations of corruption and coercion at the Supreme Court. Justices issued their decision in secret, without letting Mr Kambaksh’s lawyer submit so much as a word in his defence.

Continue reading

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Unless you have been reading this blog for at least five years, you may not know much of the history behind it. It was started many years ago (8? 10? More? I honestly can’t remember) by some friends of mine as a grand experiment. The experiment concerned fair use, music, language and more — you can find a full explanation of the ethic and idea HERE. They asked me to join late in 2003, and I was really happy to do so. Back then I was concentrating on under-reported news, scouring indymedia sites and other tiny blogs, looking to re-post and hopefully spread the word on things that were important to me–immigrant and women’s rights, gender etc… After I started library school, I started posting more news on, yes, libraries and information.  Over the past few years, most of the original contributors have fallen away, and now it really is just me. The funny thing about this, is that I have nothing to do with the design of the site, and it hasn’t been changed in quite some time. It doesn’t ‘belong’ to me, but it feels like mine all the same, even though I rarely write true personal commentary about my life. The reason I bring this up now, is that I’ve been named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker, which is a lovely honor– and best of all, I was nominated by my very favorite partner in crime (and crime fighting), Char Booth. I have long thought that what Char touches turns to gold, and I am currently feeling pretty shiny. Thank you to all of my friends & colleagues who make me a better person, and in turn a better librarian. I’m not sure if theexperiment will continue to evolve in to a more library-centric, lia-centric place, but if you have an opinion either way, I hope you’ll let me know.

You can find my UC blog HERE , on Twitter I’m piebrarian, and I’m Lia Friedman on FB. I’m also on Goodreads & Flickr , but I keep those a tiny bit more private, which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see you there.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 156 user reviews.

From the Union Librarian

More than 40 major British companies face legal action for allegedly buying secret personal data about thousands of workers they wanted to vet before employing them.

The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, will today publish a list of the companies he believes may have broken data protection laws, after an investigation by his office that was sparked by fears that many workers were being unfairly “blacklisted”.

Alan Ritchie, the general secretary of Ucatt, the construction union, said: “Ucatt members know from bitter experience of being refused work that blacklisting exists in construction.

“However, the extent of the practice and the fact that most of the major companies are involved in the practice is truly shocking. It is outrageous that construction workers have been barred from jobs simply for being trade unionists.”
See after the jump for the full press release   Continue reading

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 212 user reviews.