Friday, October 20, 2006

(E)MailBox Full of Webstuff

One of our readers sent us a couple of book-related links: a wonderful article from the IOBA Standard (Journal of the Online Booksellers Association) about a state of mind many of you will recognize, the desperate quest for the right book to read, Books, Books Everywhere, But Not a Page to Read; and a website called Bookrags. Bookrags is a fee service, but they seem to have scraped a couple of paragraphs of free content off the top of all their pages--author biographies, reviews, etc.-- so you might find enough there to answer your questions. has let us know about two possible sights this weekend: "ORIONID METEOR SHOWER: This weekend, a mild but pretty flurry of meteors will shoot out of the constellation Orion. The source is Halley's Comet. Although the comet itself is far away, ancient clouds of dust from the comet are nearby, and Earth is about to run through them. The best time to look is Saturday morning, Oct. 21st. Dozens of meteors might streak across the sky during the hours before sunrise. Dark skies are recommended! AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is heading toward Earth, and it could spark a display of auroras when it arrives on Oct. 20th or 21st."

The Africam at Pete's Pond in Botswana is back; even when there are no charismatic megafauna in view the audio is quite wonderful; Saturn for underwater sound, there is the Palaoa livestream, audio from underneath an Antarctic ice shelf. The Center for Neuroacoustic Research sells CDs of space sound recordings taken by Voyager I & II. Click on each photo for free sound clips of these literally unearthly sounds, true music of the spheres.

Walt Crawford, library thinker extraordinaire, has a good long piece about Wikipedia and the controversies surrounding it. On the mystery discussion list, DorothyL, someone asked how to find out if a song is under copyright and an hour or so later got a useful answer, including a link to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers), the phone number of the ASCAP Clearance line (212) 621-6160, and a link to BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.). The Biomedical Image Awards Gallery has some beautiful images, all real and looking like dreamscapes, and some at least of the images (for example, the knockout picture of aspirin crystals), come with audio files of the scientists talking about their work. The young whooping cranes of the will-be eastern flock are not making very rapid progress, but any day they fly there's at least one seductive photo...

Another of our users sent us The Last Page of the Internet with the remark, "Whew that's a relief." But, you know, I'd sure miss all these entertainments, enlightenments, and (yes) distractions at my fingertips. (The image of Saturn was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on September 15th.)(And yes, all these links came from my email box.)

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