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Librarian weighs in

An alleged librarian has demostrated his thorough training and professional skills with the following review of Da The Vinci Code, as found by The Da Vinci Hoax weblog on a bookseller’s website:

Brandon Vanover (firekiller814@hotmail.com), a Librarian, March 20, 2006,
Get over it
The Da Vinci code was a work of fiction, which means it WASN’T MEANT TO BE REAL. Dan Brown is an excelent writer who had an idea and wrote on it. Just like any excelent writers out there. Most of the anti Da Vinci Code fanatics are just christians with a grudge and need to realize that the bible is also a book and cant be proved to be entirely factual either. I dont understand why people have to complain about fictional books, their not real

Mr Vanover (must be an anagram) and the rest of us will have to wait, probably till Easter, to hear the result of Mr Brown’s trial. I can’t imagine the judge summarising any more concisely than that.

Unusual radio stations, or, How to offer criticism of two radio stations I’ve never even listened to

One product of the podcastItuneStreaMedia and all that newfangled kind of thing seems to be the introduction of new and interesting radio stations. For example, there is the now established LugRadio, a fortnightly British radio show that takes a relaxed, humorous look at Linux and open source. On face of it, not exactly my cup of tea, although I haven’t actually listened to it and Tim, who has been kind enough to laugh at my jokes before, assures me that it is in fact very good and funny, even though one can hardly describe him as a geek.

Now I hear of something far more adventurous: LisRadio (or LiS Webcast as they sometime call themselves on their webpage in defiance of any authority control) (via Library Stuff). For those not in the know, LIS generally stands for Library and Information Science, or something along those lines. LisRadio’s aim is as follows:

We hope to present interesting and stimulating conversations with movers, shakers, and the odd gadfly or two in libraryland.

I have to admit that this doesn’t sound like my idea of an entertaining evening. I expect the fact that it comes from the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri-Columbia might also detract from the fun somewhat, although it has a much more educational purpose than LugRadio: broadcasts will be made by department staff, at meetings of masters students, and used in the courses. Perhaps I find it hard to think of a radio station not being entertainment or current affairs. In any case, I have to say I admire a library department that puts so much energy into exploring new technology (mine wouldn’t even teach us MARC21 in 2000), although I may wait for Tim to tell me what it’s actually like to listen to.

Tinyurl

I’ve yet to use it, but tinyurl looks very useful. You can submit a url such as http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=426940&Y=541132&A=Y&Z=1 and register it a short form such as http://tinyurl.com/jz258, which is more convenient to put in email, etc. Try it. This is free, instant, and apparently permanent. Via a newsletter from our vice-provost; I expect the rest of the world knew about this anyway.

Tradition

There was a very interesting post last week at Crooked Timber about how traditional modern society is:

…we are now living in a society that’s far more tradition-bound than that of the 19th Century, and in some respects more so than at any time since at least the Middle Ages.

It also refers to a comment given in a previous post suggesting that even this observation about traditions is traditional:

Ironically, the tradition of insisting that traditions are mostly recent is actually quite old. Centuries before Eric Hobsbawm, philologists like Lorenzo Valla and Isaac Casaubon were demonstrating that ancient texts weren’t ancient at all.

Mozart

Coming home latish on Friday, we went past Budgens in Sandy. There were some youths a little distance away, who were presumably deterred from actually blocking the entrance to the supermarket by the sounds of Mozart’s Requiem being played in the doorway. I had heard that playing music was being used to deter undesirable young people from nice sheltered community spaces like shop doorways. But Mozart’s Requiem?! Playing one of the most wonderful pieces of music ever written is hardly going to work is it? If they played Frank Sinatra or Gilbert & Sullivan then I might understand. It explains why the youths were not far away in any case: they wanted to listen; and, seeing as Budgens had only started playing the Kyrie, they weren’t going to get rid of them for about another hour.

Last night, our three year old son was a bit anxious about the noise of the wind coming down the chimney, so we set up my wife’s ipod and the little speakers from the computer with a classical selection. I’m sure you can guess what piece of music gave the little one enough peace to drop to eventually drop off the sleep…

Lewis Perdue and the Dan Vinci Code case

Earlier today I came across The Da Vinci Crock, a weblog detailing the progress of the Dan Holy Vinci case. (Be careful accessing the site, using Mozilla at least, as a highly annoying pop-up pops us trying to elicit money for the Hurricane Katrina appeal and flickers annoyingly). I wondered what beef the author had to go in it into such detail until I researched the author, Lewis Perdue, whom, I must admit, I had never heard of, and found that, as reported by the BBC:

In August [2005], Mr Brown won a court ruling against another writer, Lewis Perdue, who claimed The Da Vinci Code copied elements of two of his novels, Daughter of God and The Da Vinci Legacy.

Mr Perdue had sought $150m (�84m) in damages and asked the court to block distribution of the book and the movie adaptation, currently in production.

I later found, in true Baigent and Leigh researching style, that the Crock was started in April 2005 with the intention

to provide as complete a resource as possible for the many well-documented books, articles and blogs that have likewise detected the bull offal essence of the Code. Prodigious quantities of this essence has been detected.

I notice that my own reference to the Crock in relation to Mr Brown’s oeuvre marginally postdates Mr Perdue’s weblog. I can honestly say that I have never read anything by Mr Perdue and only one thing by Mr Brown. I intend to keep it this way, although I will follow the Crock with interest.

The cost of justice

For the past week British taxpayers have been paying a High Court judge just under £3000 to read the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. From the BBC today:

The case resumed on Tuesday after a week-long break to give the judge time to read both books involved and related materials.

I don’t know whether to pity the man or whether he is just the tool of karma which had to find a victim for all the people who have said, “You’d have to pay me to read that!” One wonders whether the judge read all the appendices to the Holy Blood or not. I expect he’ll save them for when he needs to nod off in court.

By the way, the figure of £3000 comes from the salary of a High Court judge given by the Department of Constitutional Affairs wef April 2005, £155,404, divided by 52 (actually 2988.54 but you get the idea).