Sunday, July 8, 2007

Putinism? Vladmania? Cult of the Vampire?

Shushers suddenly hip? Librarians were always cool, pop culture and NY Times just took a while to notice. What's in a name? Syracuse turns its school of library science into the school of information science - and it attracts a crowd of computer oriented, mostly male students who find high paying jobs in all sorts of applications where locating, storing and distributing information is critical. Search engines may reduce the demand for one of the librarian's functions but the volume of information available today and the competition to find data, select the right data with discrimination and use it swiftly means the librarian will evolve, not disappear.

Foodies hit the animated screen in Ratatouille, and it's only the first wave. The current spate of cooking shows on television is a big hit with college students. I learned to cook four dishes while fending for myself as a student, now down to instant oatmeal. Only thing I can do with ratatouille is spell it. Today's students growing up on iron chef, Bobby Flay, et al, may be willing to try anything in the kitchen, and enjoy food references everywhere in entertainment. Have the Simpson's done a take off on a food show yet? Homer as Julia Child?

Vlad Putin is a scary guy who keeps getting spookier. KGB background an early warning, but with time in power he has revived xenophobic nationalism whenever it will suit his purposes, shut down media opposition and established his own group of brown shirts, already adept in rowdy intimidation. Today's description of youth camp selection is even creepier, teens used to brainwash teens, reeducating them in the culture of Putinism? Vladmania?. Sounds like a "worst of" collection from Mussolini and Mao, maybe we could convince Vlad to take an extended vacation in Crawford, Texas next time he visits new friend W, say three or four decades.

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