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Oyarsa's Observances

This blog is created for my random thoughts and opinions. Conflicting opinions are always welcome, but comments or remarks left in a disrespectful or distasteful manner (to be determined by myself) will be either ignored or deleted. This blog has a zero-tolerance policy for spammers. Don't waste your time, spammers, go elsewhere.


"Oyarsa" for those who don't know, is the name of an archangel (or "god" with a little 'g') in C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. I liked the character, so I stole the name. Who am I? I am a library science student in Illinois who has a variety of interests--too many to list! I have worked in libraries for five years and counting.

Are you a good person?

Monday, November 28, 2005

"Why Blogs Matter"

Heretical Librarian has an excellent entry on the topic.

Note: I will have to review my blog; I made a post critical of Gorman, but the date eludes me. This post will be edited when I have that information.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day

This is the e-card that's been making its way around the net. Enjoy.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Why an Early Withdrawl is a BAD Idea

Here's a snippet from a wonderful post on the Anchoress' blog:

In order to succeed they (the Iraqi people--Oyarsa) need two things. They need time - to train their forces and police and to get their political infrastructure established. They need reassurance that America will not desert them when their success is so tantalizingly close.

In order for the Iraq move to Democracy to fail and to descend into murderous chaos, the insurgents need only two things, too. They need the press and the politicians to continue to dwell on negatives and call for withdrawal of our troops. They need to see America “end this war” not in victory but in turmoil and shame. And they need the troops to abandon the people.

Just like, you know, Vietnam. Then they can create their own Killing Fields. And America can descend into isolationist revelry for as long as she lasts - which will not be long, because a great nation that has spilled its blood for freedom will have now twice been seen to lack the spirit to finish what it has begun. A nation that cannot keep its committments cannot be trusted to lead, and if America does not lead, she will die, for she will never follow.

Hard to top that, Anchoress, but I'll try.

To those who have been demanding for us to leave prematurely, are you willing to pay the penalty? Terrorists around the globe will smell our weakness--and they will see it as weakness, and they will exploit it. Imagine an attack hundreds of times worse than we saw on 9-11.

Furthermore, the call to leave before the time is right bespeaks of childishness and immaturity. It is the child, not the mature adult, who wants to run and hide rather than take responsibility for the broken cookie jar. It is the teenager, not the mature adult, who wants her parents to give her a break when she totals the car, or finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy. Why do they do this? They hope they can minimalize the cost to them. And some parents let them get away with it. But, ultimately, the children hurt themselves, just as the U.S. will hurt itself with the call to pull out prematurely. When that happens, those who called for us to pull out will likely be the same ones who complain that we didn't keep on the terrorists long enough. Mark my words.


A Soldier Speaks

Just finished reading a letter from a soldier in the 101st division in Iraq. Simply beautiful.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wanted: Wheelchair for Iraqi Translator

Matt, a soldier serving in Iraq, blogs about an Iraqi translator who has been maimed by a terrorist attack and needs a wheelchair.

Kevin is now carried everywhere by his family in a folding chair because his family cannot afford a wheelchair. This is obviously not practical. More importantly though, it is extremely painful for him to be transported in this fashion due to his substantial internal injuries.

(Learn more about Kevin's story.)

Bloggers are trying either to collect enough money to buy him a chair or find someone willing to donate a wheelchair.

If you're able to and wish to donate to help this Iraqi man whose life was almost taken away by a terrorist attack, go to The Military Vote and paypal a little bit of money to help out. Alternatively, you can go to the same site and let David, the blog's owner, know that you're able to donate a wheelchair.

If you have a blog, feel free to pass this around.


Welcome, OpenSource Media!

Just ran across their website today. I wish them all success. I will be linking to their site shortly in the links list.


What is Open Source Media? The best way to answer that is through the explanation of its founders, bloggers Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson:

OSM’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it. From academics, professionals and decorated experts, to ordinary citizens sitting around the house opining in their pajamas, our community of bloggers are among the most widely read and influential citizen journalists out there, and our roster will be expanding daily. We also plan to provide a bridge between old media and new, bringing bloggers and mainstream journalists—more and more of whom have started to blog—together in a debate-friendly forum.

In the 1960’s, the medium may have been the message, but in the new century, it’s time for the medium to get out of the way. Call it the blogosphere, call it citizen journalism, or call it (we hope) Open Source Media—but the next phase in the democratization of ideas has begun. Stick around, read some blogs, and come back often. Our door will be open.

Webdesign Basics

About.com ran an article on webdesign basics. So, for kicks, I decided to evaluate how well this blog messages up. Feel free to give imput if you don't agree with any of my um...scientific...yeah, scientific...findings.



1. Think small: If I take the time to upload the graphics, they meet this criterion. If I just 'borrow' someone else's image source code, then it doesn't. File this one under, "work on"...

2. Use graphics that fit the content. I'd say for the most part I've been following this one...

3. do not use images that blink I shouldn't have any images that blink on here, so I'll file this under "does not apply".


4.Stick with standard layouts Blogs, by definition, have a standard layout...

5. Whitespace is just as important in a Web layout as it is in a paper layout Got me here. Goal for this blog: find ways to use whitespace more effectively.

6. Use your graphics as elements in your layoutsI do that to a point.


7. Serif for headlines and Sans-Serif for text. Truthfully, I haven't given the font I use much attention. Will need to look into that.

8.Limit the number of different fonts I do this by default.

9. Use Standard font families: I basically do this by default as well.


10. Don't be greedy. I do have some banners that link to other websites. But I don't make a dime off any of them. Banners chosen reflect the interests of Oyarsa, hence, their inclusion on my personal blog. Anyone having problems with any of my banners should email me (view email link in my profile) or leave a comment on any of my posts.

11. Treat ads as you would any other image I think all the banners on my blog are as small as I could configure them. At any rate, they're all deliberately placed so as to avoid throwing the template out of whack, again.

Remember Your Readers

12. Test your pages in multiple browsers: Guilty as charged. I should do this, but I haven't been.

13. The same is true for operating systems. Something else I need to work on. majorly.

14. Write content that they want. This gets a bit iffy, because it is a blog. I try to keep my readers in mind, but, as I said, I can improve in this area.

So, these are my scientific results compiled by myself a group of independently hired researchers of web design.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Return of Oyarsa

A long time ago in a blogosphere far, far away....

just kidding.

Seriously, sorry for the delay in updating this blog. I've been busy with graduate school projects and things all last week. But I think I've caught up enough for some updates to my blogs.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gorman Makes Bad Impression on Library Blogger

I'd never heard of LibrarianinBlack before today, but I think I'll be paying more attention to her blog after this. Sarah Houghton (a.k.a, LibrarianinBlack) doesn't appear to be to thrilled with Gorman, President of the American Library Association at this time.

didn't think it was possible for Gorman to alienate me even more, but he did just that. Shame on Michael Gorman for shunning those people in the profession who are its future.

Read the rest

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wake up, Europe! You've got a war on your hands!

Lets see, you take in people from other nations and cultures, you get them on welfare so that they can't earn there own way--which is why they came to your country in the first place, so they'd have that opportunity. You don't assimilate their children into their culture, but permit them to keep their own for "diversity's sake, with the end result that they identify FAR MORE with the 'old country' than with you--and then your newest welfare-ites go into synagogues which preach hatred of the West and violence towards it, and you wonder WHY? Hello!

All right, end of rant. Besides, Mr. Steyn has put it best:

"Ever since 9/11, I've been gloomily predicting the European powder keg's about to go up. ''By 2010 we'll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on the news every night,'' I wrote in Canada's Western Standard back in February.

Silly me. The Eurabian civil war appears to have started some years ahead of my optimistic schedule."


Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Get With It"

This is a 42 page booklet designed to introduce parents (though those working with youth in community technology centers, libraries and schools might also find it helpful) to many of the new technology changes that have come into vogue over the past few years. It communicates understanding and sharing of new media technologies with your children. The guide gives an overview of what new technologies can do and explains that these are not something to fear but, rather, embrace.

Read the "Get With IT" booklet (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)


Bible Quote of the Day

Bible Gateway's quote of the day can be found at the bottom of the blog. Check it out.


Military Applications of Silly String

I haven't used silly string since my high school graduation. Fun stuff to play with, but I never considered a possible military use. But, I'm glad the military is using it to help keep our soldiers safe (or, I should say, as safe as a soldier can ever be in a war....)


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Now a Blogshares Blog.

As you can see from the lefthand column, I'm now listed on Blogshares.

Click on the button that looks like this to go to my blogshares.com space.

Listed on BlogShares

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The One Underserved Group Libraries Overlook...

Men. The overwhelming majority of librarians are women, so we are naturally more comfortable designing libraries and selecting materials that would appeal to women; this doesn't mean that none of our collection is geared towards men.

For instance, look in your interior decorating section. Are most, if not all, the books geared toward what most women would consider attractive? How large is your section of hunting & fishing manuals and books? Your section on car detailing? You get the idea. But I ramble. Marylaine Block puts it better than I could.


Oh, the Places I've Been!

I still have much to go, but considering the time it takes to travel from state-to-state, I doubt I will be able to visit many of my unvisited states any time soon, unfortunately.


create your own visited states map

How Much is Your Blog Worth?

More than I thought, but with time, let's hope it'll be worth more. :-)


My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

Oyarsa's Index

This index will become more involved as my blog increases in size. All entries are listed alphabetically and are linked directly to the corresponding post in this blog. Please inform me of any broken links.



Open Letter to Michael Gorman, An

Abstract: Robert Kent's as-yet-unanswered letter regarding the plight of Victor Rolando Arroyo, Cuban librarian.

Two libraries raided, librarian sentenced for "dangerousness"

Abstract: Two libraries raided; 292 books seized (total) and librarian sentenced for "dangerousness"; will be imprisoned 2 years for charge.

Technology, Future of

Future PC & You, The

Abstract: A DigitalTechNews article predicting future trends of personal computers.

The Future PC and You

For those who are as interested in Technology as I am, it will be interesting to see how many of the technologies listed will come, and how many will be quickly surplanted by something else.


"How will people use computers in the years to come? Will today's PC be replaced by Smartphones, and other personal computing devices, or will some of us still be tied to a desktop computer? NewsFactor Network's Jack M. Germain reports on a number of ways our use of personal computer devices will change in the future. A major shift in computers is expected to usher in an era of more portability and power."

Read the rest....

Two libraries raided, librarian sentenced for "dangerousness"

No, that's not what's happening in America, folks. It's a library in Cuba. If you agree, and especially if you are an ALA (American Library Association for those of you not in the library world...) member, please email or call the ALA and demand that the ALA not only condemn such activities but take whatever action is within its power to help the Cuban librarians.


HAVANA, Oct. 27, 2005 (Assembly to Promote a Civil Society) - At 7:05 A.M. on Oct. 26, three members of the political police arrived at the house of Pedro Castellanos, located at 7504 64th Avenue in the city of Cienfuegos. Pedro Castellanos is a member of the national directorate of the Assembly to Promote a Civil Society (APSC, initials in Spanish). The police detachment consisted of a captain and two young women, dressed in police uniforms. They presented a search warrant and were accompanied by two official witnesses.

During the search they confiscated 130 books, which made up the collection of the José Antonio García Tablada Independent Library. They said the books were subversive. They also seized two radios and a fax machine, and they tried to to take an asthma inhaler belonging to the wife of Pedro Castellanos.

Read the rest of the story here

An Open Letter to Michael Gorman

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2005 (Friends of Cuban Libraries) -

Dear Mr. Gorman: October 20, 2005

On October 3 I made a telephone call to your office to request support for saving the life of an imprisoned Cuban librarian, Victor Rolando Arroyo, who was near death as a result of a prolonged hunger strike. The receptionist who answered the telephone was informed of the emergency nature of the call, and she tried without success to put the call through. But she did say you had promised to return my emergency telephone call.

Sadly, as of today, no return telephone call has been received. This effort to save the life of Victor Rolando Arroyo followed upon an earlier message sent to your e-mail address on September 27. The e-mail message did not receive an answer either.

Read the remainder of the letter at this link

State and Federal Treasuries "Profit" More from Gasoline Sales than U.S. Oil Industry

Sez who? Sez the Tax Foundation.

A sample of their findings:

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Energy Information Administration

Read their report; it's only 3 pages, printed, and there is a table and a graphic (see above).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Can't Take Credit for the Pumpkin.

I've received several compliments off-blog over "my" pumpkin. Sorry to disappoint, but I wasn't the one who carved it. No idea who did. If the real carver will please stand up, I'll be happy to add accreditation. All I know is the website I found the picture on.


Coming soon....Oyarsa's Index....

In honor of my 6th month of running this blog (though I've been blogging longer...) I am going to index and all my blog posts at one single link, which I will make easily providable through the main page of my blog. Look for it!!!


Patriot Debates!

Stumbled across this while surfing the Blogosphere. Experts debating and discussing the Patriot Act. They don't have their comment function on (because of all the potential mudslinging, etc.)

Check it out.


Top 3 Items for the Web Developer in Your Life

Found these off an About.com article. I cleaned up their links since they didn't redirect for me. They should now go directly to the merchandise. Have a look. Laugh. Enjoy.


1) < head > Hat

2) I Wrote Code, So You Don't Have To T-Shirt

3) Keep out of direct sunlight T-Shirt

InquisitorX Search Engines Gives Answers BEFORE You Hit Enter

Still in the beta stage, and needs improvements, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on.


Several months ago I covered a few search engines that would give suggestions as you type. Now there's a search engine that gives results as you type, without your having to hit the enter key on your keyboard. InquisitorX is in beta and is available at http://www.inquisitorx.com/beta/.

Start typing out your search query. As you type you'll get suggestions for additional searches and three results of a Web search (which is the big weakness with this engine as I see it; only THREE results?) and links at the bottom of the results for search results on other pages -- Technorati, Amazon, Flickr, etc.


Find Copyrights & Trademarks FOR FREE!

Those of you in the library field, especially, might be interested...


The Virtual Chase has an article by Genie Tyburski on finding copyright and trademark information for free. It too is free and available at Virtual Chase: Find Copyrights & Trademarks. The article is divided up into three sections: Copyright Research, Trademark Research, and When To Use Commercial Research Services. Not a huge article but plenty of pointers to resources and some searching tips. (Source)

Search Engine Logo Generating Silliness!

You guys have to try this!


If you're not content with the Google and Yahoo logos as they are, then visit Googlefor.com and Yahoofor.com, respectively. These two sites will take the text that you specify and generate it in Yahoo or Google font.

Read the rest of the article here...

Controlling Web Robots

Have you ever wondered how sites like Google and Dogpile and other search engines find all their sites? Yes, some of them are submitted by the authors, but most are found through automated processes. These processes are called robots or 'bots. The robot will come to your site, parse through all the pages it can find, store the data in a database and move on....

Find out Why and How to control Web Robots here