The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

Listen to The Mr. Nice Guy Show podcast, too.

My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Friday, January 07, 2005

They Call That Journalism???

Fun story #1:
The White House paid a guy almost a quarter million bucks to promote a law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

Fun story #2:
Fox f*cks-up on the tsunami story. One of the most devastating disasters ever and their "team coverage" consists of two people. If it won't make Joe Sixpack angry and coddle the Republican National Committee, they don't wanna bother.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Don't Close the Book on Libraries

Excellent editorial from yesterday's Boston Globe:

Don't close the book on libraries
By Carol Brey-Casiano and Bernard A. Margolis | January 5, 2005

NEXT WEEK a storied team with more than 64,000 members and millions of loyal fans will gather in Boston to try to lift a "curse" that has been haunting them for decades.

For the American Library Association, the situation is even more haunting than the 86-year "curse of the Bambino." Despite the fact that more people are using libraries than ever before, their funding continues to decrease. More than $80 million has been cut from public library budgets in the past year alone, which has weakened or closed libraries in more than 40 states.

In addition to budgetary issues, about 70 percent of librarians will reach retirement age within the next 20 years. Who will take their place? Librarians don't rake in the multimillion-dollar salaries of major league ball players. They gain their rewards from helping a lonely senior citizen locate family members online, reading a book to a young child, or assisting a mother searching for information on college loans for her children. Eighty percent of librarians report being very satisfied with their career choice.

Librarians truly are the "ultimate search engine," an incredibly knowledgeable human resource far more responsive and interactive than virtual commercial ones. Combine library staff with the services libraries provide -- including free loans of books, music, and videos; free Internet and e-mail service; computer classes; and free adult literacy, GED, and SAT prep classes -- and the value of the public library cannot be overestimated.

Particularly in times of economic uncertainty, more and more Americans rely on the libraries' free resources to research loans, jobs, vital medical knowledge, or small-business opportunities.

Fortunately, the Boston Public Library system supported by Mayor Thomas Menino has weathered the budget cuts now ravaging the nation's public libraries. Boston's public libraries continue to offer weekly lecture series and frequent movie screenings as well as literacy services. The system has added more than 3,500 e-books to its collection, and many buildings have recently undergone extensive renovations. Sunday afternoon service is again a regular offering.

Other Massachusetts libraries aren't faring so well. Sixty-five libraries across the state, from Saugus to Bridgewater, were unable to meet their community funding requirements and were at risk of losing state and federal funding.

What do these budget cuts mean to library patrons around the country? Salinas, Calif., residents will see all three public libraries closed before summer. Buffalo and Erie County Public Library residents rallied to avert a similar fate for their 52 libraries but still lost $2.5 million in county funds. Since 2002, the Denver Public Library has cut one full day of service each week from each library facility, reduced the materials budget by 3 percent, reduced staff by 17 percent, and limited community outreach.

Patrons may not realize how important the library is until they arrive to find the doors shuttered, the computers dark, or the periodicals missing. At that point it will be too late. We must act now to ensure the future of the library, and what better place to declare our commitment than in a city that so recently triumphed against all odds -- and curses? People profess to love libraries. But alas, libraries cannot live on love alone.

Carol Brey-Casiano, director of the El Paso (Texas) Public Library, is the president of the American Library Association. Bernard A. Margolis is the president of the Boston Public Library.


Fair Use Notice

Never Mind Fired, You're Banished!

The folks at Lake Superior State University earned my respect and admiration five years ago. My boss's boss's boss was a vile bitch who nobody seemed to like. She constantly told us to "think outside the box," an incredibly overused, bullshit phrase that ended up meaning do exactly what she wanted.

LSSU put out their annual list of banished words and, sure enough, there it was "think out of the box!"

This is something I look forward to every year and the 2005 list does not disappoint. Also, enjoy the archive of previous lists.

LSSU, thank you.
And to the former big-wig who wanted us to think outside of the box: timeless words that will never get banished: kiss my ass.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Code of Ethics???

This is interesting: a proposed Bloggers' Code of Ethics.

I suppose this makes sense and think I follow most of the guidelines.



Monday, January 03, 2005

Internet: Still Some Fun to be Had

I've become so blasé about the Internet.

I use it for hours on end at work and, in years past, spent hours and hours of serendipitous surfing of the Web, looking for interesting sites. Somewhere along the line, it stopped being that much fun. Now, at home, I rarely use it for anything but email, a check of news and weather and listening to some online streaming broadcasts.

Some people still find that surfing/exploring magic. I see them at work all the time. Usually "digital divide" types who aren't fortunate enough to have Internet access at home. Many don't even have a home. They sit at the computer all wide-eyed, pointing and clicking and travelling all across the world from their semi-comfortable chair.

Once in a great while, I feel the same magic. I did a few months ago when I discovered OK Cupid, an online dating site that's absolutely free, created and maintained just because someone seems to have a good heart...and sense of humor. (Nah, I haven't gotten a date out of it, but it's still fun and nice to see).

I learned of another site today that puts that gleam back in my eyes as I sit at the keyboard. I'm sure you'll feel the same way after visiting the Awful Plastic Surgery site.



They Harp on Moral Values...

...but they love producing and watching immoral shit.

Cynthia Tucker explained in yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.