Friday, April 04, 2008

*Updates: as of this afternoon, access to all information is being restored to Popline. Hooray! Also, Brendan would like me to clarify that Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, not an evolutionist. Although he might be that, too. But he is, first and foremost, an evolutionary biologist.*

First off, I am livid this morning because Popline, a federally funded research database, has suddenly decided that the word "abortion" is a stopword in searches. This means that if you run a search for abortion (pro-life, pro-choice, medical statistics, anything at all related to the word), you'll get no results. The Librarian Activist is on the case, and now Wired has noticed, too. Regardless of one's views on the subject, arbitrarily deciding on stopwords in research databases offends every librarian sensibility I have. This news has been burning up the librarian weblogs and mailing lists since late yesterday.

Ahem. Okay. We will now move on to the links from others. Thanks to everyone for sending them in!

From Cassandra: daily caffeine intake may lower the risk of dementia later in life. Hooray!

Also from Cassandra: can you tell the difference between Jesus and Obama? (I got 7 out of 10 right, so I guess I can, indeed, usually distinguish between the two.) And finally, Bette Davis would have turned 100 this Saturday. Go watch one or more of her films and celebrate.

Both Satori and Bunny emailed me links having to do with puppets and animals, but they were very different. Satori sent a video of an elephant painting a self-portrait and a video by They Might Be Giants in puppet form (they're introduced as "They Might Be Puppets"); Bunny contributed PuppetVision and a news story on a drunk man calling the police about a wombat.

Swiped from Brendan: a hilarious video featuring evolutionist Richard Dawkins...or, as the song says, Dick to the Dawk to the Ph.D. (Interesting sci-fi factoid: Dawkins is married to Lalla Ward, best known for playing Romana in Dr. Who. Douglas Adams introduced the two. Now you know!)

Have a spiffy weekend, everyone. See you Monday!


Bill Herald said...

I'm the opposite of livid that you are livid about the censoring of important medical information. PREACH IT, SISTA! PREACH IT!

bjkeefe said...

I second Cassandra's emotion.

More generally, I'm happy to see you make a personal observation in addition to your endless supply of delightful links. More please.

bjkeefe said...

Minor quibble: Please do not refer to Richard Dawkins as an "evolutionist." This is Creationist-speak, meant to add weight to their claim that evolution is "just a theory."

The proper way to refer to Dawkins is to call him an evolutionary biologist.