when you are an ark

By Annette Marie Hyder

water besieged and heavy
with all the cares of the world
(two by two and sometimes
multiplied by seven)
remember: you are resinous
float like hope
in the maelstrom all around you
and look for me
my heart is the dove
that will come branch in beak
with news that there is land

One of every book written

“To the making of many books there is no end…” — Ecclesiastes 12:12 NWT

Brewster Kahle is making a Noah’s Ark of sorts for books. He is collecting and preserving a physical copy of every book ever published. Earlier projects of his include the digital library internet archive. He was recently inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. The book preservation project is fascinating in how it anticipates the future. Here’s an excerpt from an article from the Huffington Post on this archiving project:

The Huffington Post reports:

“Brewster Kahle, Richmond-Based Internet Archivist, Seeks One Of Every Book Written

Tucked away in a small warehouse on a dead-end street, an Internet pioneer is building a bunker to protect an endangered species: the printed word.

Brewster Kahle, 50, founded the nonprofit Internet Archive in 1996 to save a copy of every Web page ever posted. Now the MIT-trained computer scientist and entrepreneur is expanding his effort to safeguard and share knowledge by trying to preserve a physical copy of every book ever published.

“There is always going to be a role for books,” said Kahle as he perched on the edge of a shipping container soon to be tricked out as a climate-controlled storage unit. Each container can hold about 40,000 volumes, the size of a branch library. “We want to see books live forever.”

So far, Kahle has gathered about 500,000 books. He thinks the warehouse itself is large enough to hold about 1 million titles, each one given a barcode that identifies the cardboard box, pallet and shipping container in which it resides.

That’s far fewer than the roughly 130 million different books Google engineers involved in that company’s book scanning project estimate to exist worldwide. But Kahle says the ease with which they’ve acquired the first half-million donated texts makes him optimistic about reaching what he sees as a realistic goal of 10 million, the equivalent of a major university library.

“The idea is to be able to collect one copy of every book ever published. We’re not going to get there, but that’s our goal,” he said.

Recently, workers in offices above the warehouse floor unpacked boxes of books and entered information on each title into a database. The books ranged from “Moby Dick” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” to “The Complete Basic Book of Home Decorating” and “Costa Rica for Dummies.”

At this early stage in the book collection process, specific titles aren’t being sought out so much as large collections. Duplicate copies of books already in the archive are re-donated elsewhere. If someone does need to see an actual physical copy of a book, Kahle said it should take no more than an hour to fetch it from its dark, dry home.

“The dedicated idea is to have the physical safety for these physical materials for the long haul and then have the digital versions accessible to the world,” Kahle said.

Peter Hanff, acting director of the Bancroft Library, the special collections and rare books library at the University of California, Berkeley, says that just keeping the books on the West Coast will save them from the climate fluctuations that are the norm in other parts of the country.

He praises digitization as a way to make books, manuscripts and other materials more accessible. But he too believes that the digital does not render the physical object obsolete.

People feel an “intimate connection” with artifacts, such as a letter written by Albert Einstein or a papyrus dating back millennia.

“Some people respond to that with just a strong emotional feeling,” Hanff said. “You are suddenly connected to something that is really old and takes you back in time.”

Since Kahle’s undergraduate years in the early 1980s, he has devoted his intellectual energy to figuring out how to create what he calls a digital version of ancient Egypt’s legendary Library of Alexandria. He currently leads an initiative called Open Library, which has scanned an estimated 3 million books now available for free on the Web.

Many of these books for scanning were borrowed from libraries. But Kahle said he began noticing that when the books were returned, the libraries were sometimes getting rid of them to make more room on their shelves. Once a book was digitized, the rationale went, the book itself was no longer needed.

Despite his life’s devotion to the promise of digital technology, Kahle found his faith in bits and bytes wasn’t strong enough to cast paper and ink aside. Even as an ardent believer in the promise of the Internet to make knowledge more accessible to more people than ever, he feared the rise of an overconfident digital utopianism about electronic books.

And he said he simply had a visceral reaction to the idea of books being thrown away.

“Knowledge lives in lots of different forms over time,” Kahle said. “First it was in people’s memories, then it was in manuscripts, then printed books, then microfilm, CD-ROMS, now on the digital Internet. Each one of these generations is very important.””

Read the entire article here.

Links of interest:

Profile for Brewster Kahle on TED
CNET reports: Internet Hall of Fame inducts first members
Excellent article in Business Standard: Too much or too little

dandy lions

By Annette Marie Hyder

with white windblown manes
roam urban and residential
shake their heads and pounce
to float away on the breeze

Links of interest:

I Love this book: Stalking the Wild Asparagus, by Euell Gibbons

Things to do with dandelions
“One person’s weed is another person’s wild flower.” — Anonymous

“Turn dandelion whines into dandelion wines” — annarbor.com
“Make soup and salad” — wildlifegardeners.org

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I
loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily —
but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of
a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a
letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much
he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever
received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing
or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

– Maurice Sendak

News Link:
New York Times article: Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83


By Annette Marie Hyder

and the ocean is rocking, rocking
her baby to sleep
while the stars in the sky
promise to keep
the heavens held like a canopy
to soar overhead
to ripple with all the breezes of dream
and never fall down, and never fall down
rest and drift asleep

Ways of sharing a world view

When my daughter was a baby I never sang her all the right words to the best loved lullabies. Take “Rock-a-bye Baby” for instance and its refrain of  “Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetops, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock, When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, And down will fall baby, cradle and all.” I always sang the last two lines as “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, And mama will catch baby, bough, cradle and all.” I just didn’t want to be crooning messages of impending disaster and imminent doom into her little ears.

So I made up my own lullabies. That is where all the original lullabies came from, right? From individuals. I wanted to share my view of a world where she was safe and if anything threatened her I would be there for her.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the way my own mother shaped and influenced me and hoping that the ways that I have chosen to emulate her — or not — are the right ways for me and my daughter. I want all of my communications, verbal and non-verbal (the way I live my life) from lullaby to last words to sing from my heart to hers with purity and goodness.

Links of interest:
Rutger’s University: Mother Goose: A Scholarly Exploration
Betty Kenny Tree
Rock-a-Bye Baby Wikipedia

Sunday things: Green rocks, red ones, and white ones

By Annette Marie Hyder

You give me green rocks.
You call them jade, say they are money.
I say “Illusion”, let them slip fast like shadows
through my fingers spread wide.

You give me red rocks.
You call them rubies, say they are passion.
I say “Concupiscence” as they sizzle and slide,
trail scorch marks out of my hands.

You give me white rocks.
You call them diamonds, say they are beauty.
I say “Avarice” as I cast them on water
I see them flash as I throw them aside.

You give me no rocks
come empty handed
ask what I want, say “Tell me what kind”.
I say “This is love” as I fill your empty hands with mine.

my right ear

By Annette Marie Hyder

is a chocolate box
filled with your sweet confections
even the moon leans in closer
hoping to overhear

Super Moon

Check out the moon tonight — it’s the biggest and closest it will be all year. It is the perigee moon and it is awesome!

From Reuters:

“Super Moon” will light up Saturday’s night sky in a once-a-year cosmic
show, overshadowing a meteor shower from remnants of Halley’s Comet, the
U.S. space agency NASA said.

The Moon will seem especially
big and bright since it will reach its closest spot to Earth at the same
time it is in its full phase, NASA said.

Moon “is a ‘super Moon,’ as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent
brighter than other full Moons of 2012,” it said in a statement.

scientific term for the phenomenon is “perigee moon.” The Moon follows
an elliptical path around Earth with one side, or perigee, about 31,000
miles closer than the other, or apogee.

Moon will reach perigee at 11:34 p.m. EDT (0334 GMT on Sunday). One
minute later, it will line up with the Earth and the Sun to become full.

The last perigee Moon was on March 19, 2011, when it was about 250 miles closer than Saturday’s.

perigee full Moon can bring tides that are higher than normal but only
by an inch or so (a few centimeters). The effect can be amplified by
local geography, but only by about six inches.”