Archive for interweb

SxSW Announcements!

I will be going to SXSW again this year and doing one new thing (presenting/moderating) and one old thing (library meetup).

I will be moderating and contributing to a panel entitled Kicking Ass with Controlled Metadata.  Also on the panel are Tom Conrad of and Tim Spalding of LibraryThing.  I think it will be awesome to hear people telling everyone from Web 2.0 that good expert-created metadata can be more useful and moneymaking that crowdsourcing tagging.  But that is my hobbyhorse, ain’t it? Follow the link for deets on attending.

Library Worker Hoedown Lunch 2009— I have been running this for three years now, which is shockingly long to me.  I’ve met some of the coolest people at this thing.  And, best of all, non-librarian techies come and tell us all the dirt on how much they hate their tech hating librarians. 🙂  A lot of people from all kinds of gigs come and we’ve been getting a lot of law people, directors, IT peeps.  It’s a good time and especially good for new people who come to the conference alone and know no one.  It’s Sat. Mar. 14 at 12:30 at Iron Cactus on 6th and Trinity.

I will also be having an “important” birthday the day after these two things.  Doing two awesome library metadata things and then drinking to excess with excellent Mexican food is my ideal way to celebrate the one-two punch of Pi Day & the Ides of March.

So if you are coming to Austin (or already there!) let me know! We’ll have tacos.

ebay downer

I just got a package from ebay, and the woman who sent it included a little note about giving her item a new home. And then she ended it, “Must sell all I have.”

Wow. No explanation. Uh downer. Also, I want to know more! I looked at her profile and she seems to buy a lot of stuff on ebay, as well as sell stuff, which makes it more perplexing.

***ETA: I paid $6.50 and shipping was $5.05. So, monetarily she did not make out in this affair.

museum of jurassic technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.  I think my life insurance goes to them.  If you are ever in LA, you should go.  Why do I say this now?  Because the MJT showed up in the oddest (but most totally appropriate place) today.


NOW by typing this I am totally outing myself as an LG15 watcher, which I totally am.  Though the las few turns have totally pained me (“the microchip contained something in BINARY! How do we figure that OUT?”), they were led to a mysterious museum.  THE MJT!!!  How many chances does a half real half not real museum get to participate in a half real show?   Awesome.

Now you can commence making fun of me for watching LG15.  But that Jonas is so hott!

netflix thinks i am a black homosexual

The Netflix Suggestion Engine gave me some funny recommendations today.  Why did it think I liked Beyonce and Cher, I wondered.  Oh, because of stereotypes.


The Beyonce Experience: Live

 The Beyonce Experience: Live
Because you enjoyed:

When the Levees Broke

Clearly these two films are very similar.  Anyone who cares about the most racist miscarriage of justice in contemporary America must also love Bootylicious.

Cher: The Farewell Tour

Cher: The Farewell Tour

Because you enjoyed:Showgirls

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Oh, the shame.  I like trashy films and Dolly Parton.  Damn you, Netflix, I do not like Cher.

Creep Vibe

I have something I call the “Creep Vibe.”  It’s a completely irrational gut feeling I get off of people (well, honestly, men) when I meet them.  These people are usually introduced as cool friends of friends, but no matter what, I just get a bad feeling from them.  It’s super awkward, especially since some of them I have to hang out with in a social or professional situation.  I would say I get the creep vibe once or twice a year.  None of the creeps have ever ended up doing anything to me personally (mainly because I would do my best to avoid them), but yet I still trust this instinct.  Yet I feel like an ass when describing why I don’t like them.  Does this happen to other people?  Has your creep vibe been confirmed?  I can think of five of them off the top of my head immediately.  Usually it’s an extreme feeling, not, “Oh I really don’t care for that person.” but “I think that person is not a good person and will do something bad.”  Also it has nothing to do with what we talk about, what they are interested in, etc.  It’s just immediate.

blogging elsewhere

Take this as your official invitation to come visit the Uncensored Interview Blog, where I will also be blogging, generally about their awesome interview vids, the indie lifestyle, music, etc.  My first post, about Kid Rock (oh, the high quality of my musical interests), is here, but you can generally follow my posts here.  Will be sidebar linked as well for future reference. While you’re there, the videos are really cool.  And they are looking for competitors in their corporate Guitar Hero challenge, so sign up if you think you can take them.

Things I am loving


It gives you little popup messages when your downloads are done or a variety of other programs that have opted in.

Simplify Media

I have been singing its praises for months and it just keeps getting better and better.  I can listen to my entire iTunes library at work with very little effort.  Even better, I can listen to my friends’ libraries and see what they are listening to in mine.

Library Elf

This is pretty niche, admittedly, but if you check books out from a lot of different libraries, or your libraries don’t send you email updates, this is amazing.  It sends me messages when my books are on hold, about to be overdue, overdue, etc.  And it even recommends books I might like based on my library usage.  Brilliant.


I have always loved Recipezaar.  They have faceted their search for a long time, but they revamped it a while ago, and I didn’t use it as much.  Now that I have gotten used to it, I like it, though not everything is tagged as effectively as I’d like.  I realize that most people don’t care to the extent I do though, and it is extremely helpful to look for, say, rhubarb recipes that aren’t dessert–a search which cancels out 90% of the results to just what I wanted.  I also like that you can specify which cooking implements you want to use.

H&M Viscose Over-the-Knee Socks

I have a sneaking suspicion they are getting rid of these, but they are amazing.  Knee socks that stay up.  I buy most of my socks at H&M and I am totally devoted to these.  Never did I think I would be buying 7 dollar socks while thinking, “What a deal!”  But I do.  I love you H&M Viscose OTK!


I was made fun of for this, but I still drink Kool Aid.  I didn’t know there was an age limit on delicious.  Summer=Kool Aid.  If you really are having a bad day, go here and make the slimmed down Kool Aid man dance.  Him screaming, “Yeah, Oh YEAH!” over rap beats is totally frightening.  I went to the website to try and find out if I can still buy a Kool Aid Man pitcher, but no info there.  I also took this opportunity to look up the Tang website which still doesn’t exist.  I did find an awesome product locator though which told me basically I need to go to Jersey for Sugar Free Tang.  Or Flushing?  Apparently the Chinese love sugar free Tang. Awesome.

Seat Guru

I check this before I fly every time.  Knowledge is power.


Today I unfortunately found really, really horrible pornography on flickr.   In a way, I am shocked I have used Flickr for this long without finding very unattractive people having sex.  Bikers can be very unattractive people, and biker women really don’t like wearing a bra.  If there’s anything I have learned today it is to wear a bra and sunscreen all the time.  Yet all of these very (to my mind) horrifically unattractive people had lots and lots of fans even even though I would say the majority of their boobs fell into the generally accepted as unattractive “pancake” or “stretch mark” varieties.

Of course, I could not keep these horrifying photos to myself.  I shared.  And my friend, over IM, replied:

you are a classificationist
you’ve classified tits

And there you go.  They call it a discipline because it puts rules around the way you think.  Even about boobs, apparently.

raped and killed

A man from Craigslist is giving me a free tv.  Dropping it at my house tomorrow in fact.   Will I be raped first and then killed, or killed and then raped?

Tim Berners-Lee knows from stupid male geek culture

Today I saw Tim Berners-Lee speak about linked data/ontologies/the semantic web.   In addition to being the inventor of the WWW, he has really interesting ideas about women in engineering/computery things.  Now I am no engineer, but in a room of a couple hundred people men, I saw maybe 10 women.  Now, first, this is not news. But maybe it’s working with a lot of librarians which has lulled me into a female-dominated, computer-haxx0r haze.  Seriously I cannot recall when I have been in a room with fewer women (relatively), and I went to a high school with a male to female 3:1 ratio.  In fact I think this is certifiably the only time in my life where I have been the most feminine person in the room by a LONG SHOT (I was wearing a dress.  With pink flowers on it.).  And also the only woman under…40ish (that I saw).  I am not uncomfortable in male-dominated situations.  I am not uncomfortable being the youngest person in the room (though when that is taken to mean I am an idiot, it starts to grate).  I am not uncomfortable at a tech conference.    Yet, I was uncomfortable in that room.  While I was not at the conference very long, not one person spoke to me.  They did stare doubtfully at me though when TBL asked if people were familiar with the topic he was discussing, and I was the only person who raised my hand at my table.

So what I am saying, is even in this area, TBL knows what he is talking about.

rap and chess

I am uncomfortable with gangsta rappers kicking my ass….at chess.

digital divide

I assume this is impossible, but does anyone know any way to get internet access (dsl at least) without a contract?  I could supply the router and such, but I am hoping to work from home at my dad’s house and he doesn’t have a computer.  I don’t want to start a yearlong contract for him, obviously.  I am wondering if I could just move my plan over?  But I think that probably won’t work.  Anyone have any experience with this?

And he lives in a building of old people, so no one there has wireless I can steal.  And while I CAN work from Panera, I also have to be on hour plus conference calls so that won’t really work.

picture postcards

I love postcards.  I always write them when on vacation but I almost never send them.  I am thinking of working on that by sending someone a postcard once a week.  Would you like to get postcards?  If so, send me your address at snailmailpostcards at gmail.  Even if you know I know your address, send it there as a sign up.  Potentially I will be taking pics of the postcards I send.  It’s like the opposite of PostSecret!  PostNotSecret.

meme request

My friend Claire requested I answer this meme:

1. Just how lazy are you?

Very. I have no sense of discipline. I have found a way to quickly and efficiently not walk up a couple of flights of stairs in my local subway station sans elevator.

2. What are you going on and on about these days?

Hmm. I am back on the conjoined twins kick, but I have been talking a lot about my recent visit to the L. Ron Hubbard museum.

3. Your husband/significant someone always calls it a crackpot theory, but you know you’re really onto something. Tell, tell, tell!

Being single means no one criticizes my crackpot theories! HA! My crackpot theory regards the Beach Boys actually being a punk band a la the Ramones. Also I am pretty sure AA is a scary cult, but I don’t think it’s crackpot and a lot of people agree but it’s one of those things you can’t say without people freaking on you.

4. Have you ever eaten a half a hard boiled egg that you found on the floor, and then absentmindedly shaken salt directly into your mouth to chase it?

No, but I have picked something up off the floor I thought was something tasty but was in fact plastic. Oh, the shame.

5. What did you really screw up this year?

Um, hmmm….seeing doctors regularly.

6. What did you really get right?

I think I am getting better at professional networking.  And dating. Go me!

chicago cougar

While looking for a news story about a cougar found roaming the streets of Chicago, I was suprised to find the high number of websites for “cougar hunting.”  Apparently some people consider women “cougars” when they are only 34!  That seems young to me, though another definition was “anyone more than 7 years your age.”  Frightening.  Go find out where urban cougars hang out in your city here.

I love drastic double meanings in language.  Keeps me amused on the internet, and in business.  Amen!


While my heart is mainly hardened to most proposal stories, this one really got me. I mean a proposal with programming and Bejeweled!? It may be even dorkier than my friends’ proposal being caught by someone else on YouTube (see around 3:20).

*****Edited to add the best pickup line ever, by Simon, “So, you like casual gaming?  How about casual sex?”

everything old is new again

Has anyone else noticed that repackaged inferior technology keeps swelling in technology?  I mean SMS texting is basically what telegraphs were, but we replaced them with phones.  Now that we all have phones, we’re going back to text.  BBSes were what we did before more direct,  private, and temporally concurrent chat technology (instant messaging) was available.  But look at your twitterstream–it’s a party line.  People follow up in broken time and everyone can see it.

Am I taking crazy pills?  Why are we regressing?  Is this tech nostalgia?  Is it retro?

frightening makeover

Were I to grow out my hair, bleach it, get colored contacts, and a lot of makeup, I would look like this:

Truly frightening.  To enjoy a timewaster that will allow you to do this sort of horrifying business to yourself, go to Taaz.

one word

One word meme via grace

The rules:
1. After reading my answers, copy and paste the list into your comment.
2. Change my one-word responses with yours (yes, only ONE WORD, even if it hurts the most painful of hurts).
3. Submit your comment.
4. And hey, you can always post your finished list on your blog, too.

You’re Feeling: exhausted
To Your Left: tea
On Your Mind: O.C.
Last Meal Included: yogurt
You Sometimes Find it Hard To: discipline
The Weather: grey
Something You Have a Collection of: books
A Smell that Cheers You Up: rain
A Smell that Can Ruin Your Mood: homeless
How Long Since You Last Shaved: weeks
The Current State of Your Hair: untouched
The Largest Item On Your Desk/Workspace Right Now (besides computer): shoeboxes
Your Skill with Chopsticks: middling
Which Section You Head to First In the Bookstore: bargain
…and After That?: culture
Something You’re Craving: lobster
Your General Thoughts On the Presidential Race: bored
How Many Times You’ve Been Hospitalized this Year: none
A Favorite Place to Go for Quiet Time: bed
You’ve Always Secretly Thought You’d Be a Good: bartender
Something that Freaks You Out a Little: discipline
Something You’ve Eaten Too Much of Lately: junk
You Have Never: biked
You Never Want To: waste

upgrade schmupgrade


All is well now!

I upgraded wordpress, but now links directly to posts are broken. Trying to figure that out….anyone else have this issue?

naked rampage!!

I would not call it a rampage.  In fact, it’s a little bit of a ruckus followed by grocery store workers being completely subdued about the fact that a naked man is in their store breaking shit.  But by golly I can’t pass up a title like NAKED MAN GOES ON RAMPAGE!  Seriously though–why do none of the employees seem that concerned?

you’re gonna die

I know some people think this is a romantic metaphor for life, but I was doing just fine without a video game which reminded me  1. we’re all going to die alone and  2. I’m probably better suited to being alone anyhow.  Is it bad that even a pixellated wife makes me feel really tied down?  Go away pixellated wife!  I need some breathing room to get around this block!  You’re suffocating me!

If you play it and don’t get it, go here.

books that make you dumb?

Booksthatmakeyoudumb is getting a lot of publicity, which I understand because it is interesting. But it is the worst named “research” I have ever heard. It makes me so angry!

In case you haven’t heard of it, basically someone correlated the favorite books of colleges on facebook with the average SAT scores of people who attend those colleges in order to say which books make you go to a “dumb” school. Okay first, what you read before you take the SAT and when you are in college is very different. In fact, the self-reporting seems sketchy to me. Also, I am still considered in my undergraduate institution’s community. Again, my reading tastes are pretty different from when I was 17, so alumni years older are considered in this study. Beginning your study with the idea that some books “make you dumb” is so infurating and biased. Plus, I love that “not reading” makes you LESS dumb than reading Zane. Clearly. Since when have SATs been the only factor on getting into college? And when did your SAT score determine if you were smart or not. A BRIEF look at the books basically shows you that people in some socioeconomic categories do worse on the SATs than others. SHOCKING.The major outliers I don’t understand are Anna Karenina and Fahrenheit 451. Do you really think kids who love Anna Karenina are equally smart as kids who love Harry Potter? Kids who read Fahrenheit 451 are really dumber than kids who don’t read? I totally do not believe that.

Personally all the books I liked when I took the SAT have higher scores than the books I currently read. Also, if you look at the graph, apparently kids who get over a 1400 don’t read any books.


My email address includes a shortening of my last name Benevento to Bento. When I was little, I could not pronounce my last name, and said Bento instead, very quickly, as if I were saying the whole thing. So my mom has always called me JennyBento. I use it online and now people have taken to sending me actual mail addressed to Jenny Bento. So when I saw an entire page of cafepress devoted to I heart Bento attire, I was very excited! Sadly, they mean the lunch.

deep dark secrets

Heidi did this seven odd facts about yourself. Mine are super Freudian, unintentionally!

1. My mom is an alcoholic. I have started to say this out loud more often, mostly in a “haha my alcoholic mom” jokey sort of way. But my mom’s really an alcoholic. Honestly I am not as upset about this as it seems like I should be when saying this. She’s pretty functional, and has always been an alcoholic, so it’s nothing new. I am sure this somehow affects me on some horrid deep level I am suppressing, but it is not really a source of negativity, and if I mention it people get weird and quiet and don’t know what to say. So I mainly don’t mention it.

2. My half-brother is autistic and I wasn’t allowed to have a relationship with him until I was 18, because of details of my parents’ divorce unknown (by choice) to me. Another statement which has a buzzkill effect to conversation but yet I am not upset about. Still it’s hard to forge a sibling relationship with that history and I am pretty bad at it.

3. My family generally knows little about my life. I think they think I am a dorky naive sheltered goody two shoes. Which is not to say I am smoking crack and killing hookers, but I kept everything a secret as a kid. Like, I hid my period from them for years. While I no longer actively attempt to cover anything up about my life (as I did in high school) they don’t ask and I don’t go out of my way to tell. Like for example, I have never admitted to dating anyone to my parents. Seeing as I am pretty open about my life to anyone who asks, this is somewhat demented but based on the bizarre overprotectiveness of my parents when I was a kid. But my first inclination is to lie to them when they ask me something. Laura Palmer was so a rational actor to me.

4. Though as a child I was right-handed, I did a lot of things in a left-handed way, which made my dad make fun of me. Later on, I had to get goofy hand eye coordination tests taken to make sure I didn’t have a tumor (I did not), and it was determined I am technically left handed. Like, incredibly better with my left hand. To the point where the doctor thought for a second that I was lying/crazy about saying I was right-handed. I have no idea what to do with that information. Do I switch over?

5. I have cheated on everyone I have ever dated. I am neither proud nor reticent about this really. But I have good intentions for this to be different. And to be fair, the last three were duly told beforehand that this would happen. And I am totally getting better at it.

6. I count and spell in my head all the time. Like, if I am going up or down stairs, I use a letter of a sentence for each stair, like, “I- -A-M- -S-O- -H-U-N-G-R-Y-.” Usually an apostrophe is four stairs, spaces or dashes are one, and periods are three, unless there’s a lot of stairs in which case I will spell the word apostrophe out. Sometimes I just go through letters, and sometimes, when I am in a wordy mood, I’ll just do a word a stair. I spell out whatever I am thinking at the moment. The only mention of this kind of counting is in OCD things, but I don’t do it in a compulsive way (like, I don’t have to redo it if I do it wrong, and I don’t have to do it.), I do it because I FIND WALKING UP STAIRS (or something else) BORING. Basically, more than 20 seconds of not reading or doing something mental bores me, and so this is the mind trick thing I have developed to cope. I remember doing it as a child on car rides with street lights. I also do it if I am walking home and have to pee, so I don’t have to think about how I have to pee. This admission makes me feel like there is some obvious psychological thing wrong with me. Is it shocking I am related to someone with Autism?

7. I frequently realize things I have always thought were totally normal are completely bizarre, and wonder why no one I know has mentioned it. Like only recently my sister pointed out that everyone doesn’t immediately take off their pants when they get home. Totally shocking to me. Has everyone I have lived with or dated thought, “Why the hell must Jenny get out of her pants immediately upon getting home?” Or peanut butter in the fridge–I was 22 before I learned that PB did not have to be refrigerated. Had I THOUGHT about it, I would have figured that out, but who thinks about peanut butter?

support our troops

While I am not head over heels for all of the messages on these, I think this is a great idea. Basically kids made some postcard designs and you can pick one and write a message to a soldier, and when they have a full print run they will send your postcard for you to a soldier. I find the designs interesting….kids are watching a lot of Fox News, it looks like.   Also a prominent number feature cacti.
I think my new catch phrase is “Be fast, be strong, like an American Muscle Car.”

And of course, dragons miss the troops:

annual unplugging

I am leaving tomorrow for my annual Internet Unplugging! My dad doesn’t even have a computer, let alone internet, and he lives in a building full of old people without the internet, and old people who have kids who know enough about the internet to close their network. Harumph. Email/blogging will be intermittent at best (when Panera Bread is found), but hopefully I will get a few book reviews out before the end of the year!  I have reserved the flight time for the Helvetica documentary and the Black Sheep horror film!
Have a happy holiday, and a good new year.  Say hello to the family, eat well, finish up that shopping, and start resolving!  If you are in the Chicagoland area, call me!  Or send smoke signals.


Apparently there’s a theme to posting today. I have no interest in cats, so I have never appreciated lolcats, but lolsheviks is another story.

bubble time

I think the fact that I watched this right before I went to a 29th bday party at 8pm on a Fri. at work probably made it more awesome.  Totally worksafe if you work at a 2.0 company.  Also, I am completely pitching that friendship bracelet idea Monday.  That was a little close to home. 🙂
via Dannyman 

Help digitize books though annoyance

I do not use captchas on this site.  I think the burden of work for you reading what I have to say should be on me, not you.  Me having to delete a few comments a week is more reasonable than you having to enter text on every comment.  This is partially because I personally HATE entering captchas.  But my mind was almost changed by a captcha that helps Internet Archive digitize books!  Thanks to Heidi for the tip!  ReCaptcha uses OCR text as its words!  I think part of the reason I hate captchas is that they seem like such a waste of time, and I frequently get them wrong, but at least in this case they DO something!  If you go the captcha route you should totally get these.