Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Google Books : Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian, China's Literary Wild Child : Sex Drugs Rock & Roll

Everybody is now getting into the act of suing search engines for including scanned excerpts of their books in search results. See, for example:

BBC News - Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian

My own book, Stars, Stones and Scholars is found at Google Books and I am very pleased about it, since it makes that book much more accessible to millions of potential readers. Indeed, links are offered to major online booksellers where the book can be purchased. Below is a scan of the front cover website page at Google Books of Stars Stones and Scholars by Andis Kaulins:


People who are interested in the book's amazing subject matter buy the book.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Courthouse Libraries to Close : The Final Chapter for Court Libraries?

The Final Chapter for Court Libraries?:
Budget crunch to force closure of six courthouse law libraries
by
Douglas S. Malan
of
The Connecticut Law Tribune
November 25, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tom Osborne, Beyond The Final Score: There's More to Life Than the Game – Family, Mentoring, Leadership, Serving (a book review by Andis Kaulins)

Here is a wonderful new book to add to your library - optimally in the reading room in a prominent place. Your library users will thank you.

What follows is my book review of the book:


The legendary Nebraska Cornhuskers football head coach Tom Osborne was a three-time representative in Congress from Nebraska's 3rd congressional district. We guarantee you a smile if you look at this map of that district. Well, OK, it is not ALL of the state.... I wonder how many - or few - of Osborne's colleagues in Congress knew that? It is one of the largest congressional districts in the nation.

Now, on to the book.

Did you know that it takes at least 5 positive comments for every 1 negative comment in a family environment for a healthy family environment to be maintained? and at least 3 positive comments to 1 negative comment to maintain a healthy work environment? and that a simple 1 to 1 balance of positive and negative comments is on the road to separation and divorce in a partnership?

That a positive balance of comments is critical would appear to be self-understood, but that the ratio must be so high is a revelation. That astonishing piece of information is cited in Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game, a truly remarkable book of wisdom by the legendary football coach Tom Osborne, published by Regal Books of Gospel Light, a not-for-profit Christian ministry.

Although the book emphasizes service to God as a guiding personal light, the principles presented are universal and equally applicable to all of us. As Osborne writes:
"Please don't get the idea that I was some kind of religious nut. I was simply trying to apply principles of faith in a highly competitive arena... [My] approach to leadership and team building is related to my faith. I believe that each and every person should be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve." [emphasis added]
For Tom Osborne, that has been a fantastically successful philosophy.



The cover of my review copy of Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game carries a quotation - not seen above - from Warren Buffett, probably the world's most successful investor, stating: "Tom Osborne improves the lives of everyone he encounters."

If Osborne's book has one definable purpose, then that is the purpose it surely serves. This book can improve your life. It has already improved mine, and I am simply reviewing the book.

It is a rare football coach who would begin the first chapter of his book with a quotation by Mark Twain, author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and known affectionately as the "father " of American literature. Osborne quotes Twain:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Right from the start of Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game, the reader of Osborne's book is thus aware that this is not simply a personal collection of memoirs, but rather a potentially valuable work of wisdom for everyone, written by three-time congressman Osborne, who is not only famous as the former head football coach at Nebraska but is also a respected leadership educator, who at age 72 presently serves as the Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

When Tom Osborne (pronounced OZ-burn) retired in 1997 as head football coach of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, "Oz" was his own legend, having won at least nine games in every coaching season and having compiled the then best winning percentage among active Division I-A coaches for a 255-49-3 won-loss record. In his last game as Husker head coach in the 1998 FedEx Orange Bowl, the Huskers won the national championship in the coaches poll, beating Tennessee and Peyton Manning, 42-17.

Indeed, Tom Osborne had gotten better as the years went by, winning 60 games and losing only 3 in his last five seasons, while winning three national championships (1994, 1995, and 1997). In fact, ESPN fans in 2006 rated his 1995 Husker team the best college football team of all time. That same Number 1 rank was assigned to the unbeaten 1995 team in 2005 by Sports Illustrated viz. CBS and Sagarin and in 2001 to the football program as a whole by scout.com. An amazing thirty-three of the players on the Husker's 1995 roster went on to play professional or semi-pro football.

ESPN named Osborne coach of the decade in 1999 and an ESPN poll in 2007 voted Osborne the greatest college football coach of all time. Such accolades are of course always subjective, but, whether you agree or disagree, they do reflect a level of achievement that is outstanding.

But how many football or other fans know the true story of how Osborne became a Nebraska assistant coach to begin with. Osborne relates the story in his book Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game (pp. 182-183):
"When I asked Bob Devaney if I could join his coaching staff, he told me that he had no positions open. However, he said that if I wanted to do so, I could move into an undergraduate dorm with seven or eight players who were causing trouble. If I had success with them Bob and I would revisit the possibility of coaching. These guys had developed a kind of frontier mentality: Anyone who trespassed their territory would suffer the consequences. The dorm counselors were afraid of them, and the school's administrators seemed at a loss for how to deal with the problem....

When I wasn't breaking up fights, I made every effort to get to know each one of the guys. Living side by side with them, day in and day out, helped me to build relationships of trust. And that was the key, I think, in helping them turn things around."
Oz was successful and Bob Devaney was proven to be a very wise man.
Oz got the job.

(Note via LawPundit on the unexpected but close connection of academics, football and law: Bob Devaney became NU head coach through a suggestion made to then NU Chancellor Clifford Hardin (later U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) by Michigan State head coach Duffy Daugherty. I went to school with Hardin's children. Cynthia Hardin Milligan is a J.D. and the Dean Emeritus of the Business School at the University of Nebraska, whose husband Robert S. Milligan is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Cynthia Hardin Milligan worked together with Tom Osborne at the University of Nebraska on leadership matters. Nancy Hardin Rogers is also a J.D. and is the daughter-in-law of the late former U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of State William P. Rogers. She is herself a former Attorney General of Ohio and past President of the Association of American Law Schools.)

In the same years that Tom Osborne was beginning his football coaching career, I was in my undergraduate student days at the University of Nebraska. One semester I had a very early morning weight-lifting class (7:30 a.m.) in the basement of the University of Nebraska Coliseum in Lincoln (see video), which today houses the very successful Huskers volleyball program, but then was the arena for Cornhusker basketball games.

That same Coliseum today holds the women's sports NCAA record for the most consecutive sellouts, and I always felt good in the classic aura of that building (see video). Indeed, if I arrived early for my weight-lifting class - this was ca. 6:30 a.m. - I would go shoot baskets on the practice basketball floor prior to that class - I had my own ball.

Few people were even awake on campus at that early hour, and I was usually alone, but I did meet one other person there several times shooting baskets just like I was, very early in the morning. He was a tall (6'5") player who had been selected as an All-State basketball player in high school and was voted the Nebraska Athlete of the Year in 1955. His name, Tom Osborne, who was - then - an assistant for the University of Nebraska football team and - today - is in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.

As we all know from Benjamin Franklin, philosophy and wisdom aside, success comes through hard work and effort, quoting ushistory.org: "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" and Osborne's day began early. I am sure Osborne does not remember me from those early morning basketball encounters, but they were significant enough for me that I can recall them well. This was BEFORE Osborne became a famous coaching name.

It is interesting to see that good habits, once made, are not easily broken, although they may have to be amended to adapt to a change of circumstances. Osborne specifically refers in his book to the gym as an "oasis from partisanship" during his years as a congressman in Washington D.C., where he "made many friends on both sides of the aisle during my evening trips to the gym ... and ... would often stay until it closed around 10:00 P.M. I've always enjoyed working out, and the friendships that I formed there made it an even better experience." The time(s) had changed, but the good habits had remained. Note that Osborne was quite clearly not a supporter of the type of blind partisanship that often marks our vastly improvable Congress.

We were very much moved by Osborne's discussion in his book of the values of family, mentoring, leadership and serving, especially his conviction that "leadership as service", what Osborne calls "transformational leadership", is the best of all leadership forms, even though it is the most difficult to attain.

Osborne tells us on this leadership topic that:
"How a person leads is greatly influenced by his or her understanding of the world ... worldviews are inextricably tied to leadership.

There are so many interesting things discussed in Osborne's book that no review can do them justice. Beyond the Final Score should be read in full.

Osborne concludes:
"Is success just about winning? Acclaim? Trophies? Wealth? Our personal happiness or satisfaction? I have been blessed to experience some of these over the years, and I can answer without batting an eye: No. Accomplishments, applause, awards and fortune are rewards that often come as the result of hard work and a determined spirit, but there is something bigger. Something better. Something that will outlast the winningest season, the plushest corner office, the heftiest bonus and the loudest cheers. That something can only be found when we look beyond the final score." - Tom Osborne, Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game, p. 17

Friday, April 24, 2009

World Digital Library (WDL) Launched to Share Content of World's Libraries and Cultural Institutions

The World Digital Library (WDL) was launched on April 21, 2009.

Staff writer Louise Fenner at America.gov provides the essential details of "a vast multilingual collection of manuscripts, maps, rare books, sound recordings, films, prints, photographs and other cultural and historical materials [which] can be viewed with the click of a computer mouse — and this is only the beginning of an ambitious project to share the contents of the world’s libraries and cultural institutions."

Here is one example: the Constitution of the United States.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scribd, Copyrights, Novelist Ken Follett, LawPundit, plus J.K. Rowling, Nick Hornby, and John Grisham, author of The Associate, a NY TIMES Bestseller

Scribd is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the Internet.

At ScribdBlog in their posting What ever happened to Fact Checking?, the Scribd Team goes one on one with the Times of London on copyright issues relating to Scribd, involving such famous novelists as J.K. Rowling, Ken Follett, Nick Hornby and John Grisham, who has the current Number 3 Bestseller on the New York Times list of hardcover fiction with his book, of all things, called The Associate, which Patrick Anderson of the The Washington Post calls "A DEVASTATING PORTRAIT OF THE BIG-TIME, BIG-BUCKS LEGAL WORLD."

We were gratified (but of course "legally shocked") at the Times of London article which incurred Scribd's wrath to learn that immensely popular and writingly gifted novelist Ken Follett's World without End (a New York Times No. 1 bestseller) had been uploaded to Scribd and had been viewed 500 times in five months.

We recently uploaded some of our own published works to Scribd. After only one month we have more than 500 views of two of our documents:

The Norse Pharaohs: Astronomical Decipherments re Tanum Hierakonpolis Nazca Sahara Near East DOC

The Origin of the Cult of Horus in Predynastic Egypt DOC


We are strongly considering entry into the publishing field with a novel of our own. Ken Follett and cohorts, look out, there is competition on the way!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Europeana : Digital Library and Museum Cooperation : The European Union EU Cultural Resource Project with 4 Million Digital Items is Relaunched

We were informed by email today that Europeana, the digital cultural resource project of the European Union, currently presenting access to over 4 million digital items at museums and libraries throughout the EU, has relaunched again after a problematic start in November.

Europeana explains what it is about, and provides to us a list of the partner organizations that make materials available to Europeana.

That same "about us" page provides us with an overview of Europeana as follows:

"The [European] Commission has been working for a number of years on projects to boost the digital economy. These prepared the ground for an online service that would bring together Europe's cultural heritage.

The idea for Europeana came from a letter to the Presidency of Council and to the Commission on 28 April 2005. Six Heads of State and Government suggested the creation of a virtual European library, aiming to make Europe's cultural and scientific resources accessible for all.

On 30 September 2005 the European Commission published the i2010: communication on digital libraries, where it announced its strategy to promote and support the creation of a European digital library, as a strategic goal within the European Information Society i2010 Initiative, which aims to foster growth and jobs in the information society and media industries. The European Commission's goal for Europeana is to make European information resources easier to use in an online environment. It will build on Europe's rich heritage, combining multicultural and multilingual environments with technological advances and new business models.

The Europeana prototype is the result of a 2-year project that began in July 2007. Europeana.eu went live on 20 November 2008, launched by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media.

Europeana is a Thematic Network funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus programme, as part of the i2010 policy. Originally known as the European digital library network – EDLnet – it is a partnership of 100 representatives of heritage and knowledge organisations and IT experts from throughout Europe. They contribute to the Work Packages that are solving the technical and usability issues.

The project is run by a core team based in the national library of the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. It builds on the project management and technical expertise developed by The European Library, which is a service of the Conference of European National Librarians.

Overseeing the project is the EDL Foundation, which includes key European cultural heritage associations from the four domains. The Foundation’s statutes commit members to:

  • Providing access to Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage though a cross-domain portal
  • Co-operating in the delivery and sustainability of the joint portal
  • Stimulating initiatives to bring together existing digital content
  • Supporting digitisation of Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance English-German German-English by Langenscheidt published via licence agreement with Routledge Ltd London

The definitive two-way Langenscheidt Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance (German-English English-German), now in its 3rd edition and published by license agreement with Routledge Ltd, London ("licence" in the UK) , and of which I am one of four co-authors, has a new link in English here, and I have changed the corresponding links on the LawPundit website which previously led only to the German-language page at Langenscheidt.

One reason that I am making this posting is that a random search of some library catalogues online indicates that there are still many libraries that do not have this essential resource, and if they do have it, they often have the totally outdated original 1997/1998 version which has been totally revised by us in the interim, and this includes the deletion of outdated entries. Even the Harvard Library has only the substantially improved 2002/2003 edition, but this runs only 1206 pages as compared to the 1440 page 2007/2008 edition. (Publication years vary because of CD-ROM versions etc.)

Especially in our contemporary fast-moving era of digital technology, five years of development are often like fifty or a hundred years only a decade ago. For example, SMS "texting" only really started in 1999, when SMS messages could first be sent between networks. The first BlackBerry integrating a cell phone was introduced in 2001. (A "cell phone", by the way, is called a "mobile phone" in the UK and a "Handy" in Germany - go figure). The current 3G mobile phone system, without which modern mobile phones could not do what they do, took off only in 2004.

The speed of change is shown by the development of online social networking. The social online network Friendster and also Plaxo Contacts were launched in 2002 and followed by MySpace (see U.S. President Obama's MySpace) and also the social business network LinkedIn in 2003, with the now most popular Facebook launched in 2004 and opened to the general public only in 2006. Twitter took off in 2007 and even U.S. President Obama used it before his inauguration in 2009. Tremendous changes as a result are taking place in the way social and business relationships are taking place - in the shortest span of time. In order not be overwhelmed, one has to keep up.

In a multilingual context, it is absolutely indispensable to have the most recent editions of state-of-the-art dictionaries, and believe you me, even we have trouble keeping up.

The German title of our English-German German-English Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance is Fachwörterbuch Wirtschaft Handel und Finanzen Deutsch-Englisch Englisch-Deutsch.

This dictionary is intended to be a comprehensive, up-to-date standard work and reference for business and legal professionals, for companies and institutions involved with Germany in business, commercial, financial and political affairs, as well as for specialist translators. Special attention has been paid to the integration of entries dealing with digital technology and the European Union. The 3rd edition now contains approximately 136,000 entries and updates are made annually to the CD-ROM version of the dictionary, which is fully searchable from one's desktop. New entries derive inter alia from personal experience and also the reading of cutting edge literature in the respective fields and that is why this dictionary is always one step ahead of the competition.
  • The chief author/editor is: Ludwig Merz (professional translator and university Lecturer in economics and business administration)
The co-authors are:
The fields covered (here by keyword) are: general commercial language, banking, taxation, education, the stock market, computers & the Internet, finance, leisure & tourism, property, import/export, industry in general, communications, management, media, patents, personnel management, politics, accounting, law, social security, statistics & mathematics, transport & logistics, environment, sales & marketing, insurance, administration, economics & business administration.

The Appendix contains business correspondence and documents, job titles used in commerce and management, International Standard Classification of Occupations, financial and economic indicators, cardinal and ordinal numbers, a list of countries, statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE), and Incoterms 2000.

For the librarians in our readership: the entry for the main library catalogue in German is found at the DNB (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, German National Library).

Otherwise, I have put up the essential library data at Good Reads, and it can also be found at Langenscheidt.

Dictionaries are not archives but living, useful, often daily consulted documents. Put this dictionary on your desk, on your active shelf, or, if you are a library, in your reading room. Much of what you don't find online for English-German or German-English translations, is in this volume. Not everything .... but we are constantly working on it.

Mirrored at LawPundit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Americans - A Classic by Robert Frank republished in Germany in English, German and Chinese 美国人

The Americans
in German, "Die Amerikaner"
and in Chinese "美国人".
I got this book for my birthday this past December.

If you are down about the American economy and the prospects for 2009 and beyond, don't be. Take a look at this book - and at this first link about that book - to see how greatly much of America has changed in the 50+ years since the mid-1950's. Obama's America in 2009 is a vastly different place than shown in the photographs in "The Americans".

As written by Philip Gefter at the New York Times (Art & Design section online):

"“The Americans,” [is] an intimate visual chronicle of common people in ordinary situations drawn from several trips he made through his adopted country in the mid-1950s."

The Americans, by Robert Frank, a classic photographic study of the United States in the 1950's, was first published May 15, 1958, by Robert Delpire in Paris, followed by an English edition in 1959 via Grove Press in New York, in which the original French language by Alain Bosquet about American history was replaced by an introduction and captions in English by Jack Kerouac.

As written at aloHAA:

"The end result [of Frank's photographic journey through the USA in the 1950's] was the 83 images in the book that no American publisher would touch. It took a Frenchman, Robert Delpire, to publish “Les Americains” in 1958. Progressive publisher Barney Rosset produced the first American edition under his Grove Press the following year. Frank revealed a harsh, sometimes divided America that was a lot different from the rah-rah ’50s dream of “Father Knows Best.” His out-of-the-box compositions paved the way for William Eggleston’s profound color images of America that have garnered unanimous applause in the Whitney’s William Eggleston: Democratic Camera.” “No one has had a greater influence on photography in the last half-century than the Swiss-born Mr. Frank, though his reputation rests almost entirely on a single book published five decades ago,” writes Philip Gefter in the New York Times. "

The German publisher Steidl in Göttingen,
together with the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
in 2008 published a new version of the book in three languages:

English,
German (translation by Hans Wolf)
and Chinese (see e.g. 罗伯特·弗兰克的《美国人》 “The Americans” by Robert Frank).

Frank, 83 years old at the date of publication - a number which corresponds to the 83 tritone plates in the book, chosen out of 20,000 photographs - worked intensively himself on this new version of his now classic book, including for example using some negatives varying from previous editions.

The 13-character ISBN for the English version of the book is: 978-3-86521-584-0.
The 13-character ISBN for the German version of the book is: 978-3-86521-658-8.
The 13-character ISBN for the Chinese version of the book is: 978-3-86521-657-1.

This book is a "must have" for any library that includes materials on America.

For those of my friends in Nebraska, where I grew up, two of the plates in the book are from Nebraska, one of highway 30 between Ogallala and North Platte, and the other of Hested's department store in Lincoln. I've seen both, and, yes, that's exactly the way it looked.

Cartographia: Mapping Civilisations by Vincent Virga and the Library of Congress

We are a bit late on this, but Cartographia: Mapping Civilisations by Vincent Virga and the Library of Congress is a "Must Have Book" for your library shelves. For example, it features the Waldseemüller Map, the first map to ever use the term "America":
"Waldseemüller map is the first map to include the name "America" and the first to depict the Americas as separate from Asia. There is only one surviving copy of the map, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 2001 for $10 million."
We show this map below from Wikimedia Commons but see also LOC:


You can view 16 of the maps in small images at NPR.

The original Library of Congress press release stated:
"September 26, 2007

Library's Map Treasures Are Highlighted in "Cartographia"

New Publication to Be Subject of Program and Book Signing on Oct. 23

Maps are a visual record of human endeavor, each with a tale to tell. In their various forms, maps are models of time, diaries of political maneuverings and works of art that provide a unique vision of how the world evolved.

Drawn from the world’s largest cartographic collection, housed in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, "Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations," by Vincent Virga, has been published by the Library in association with Little, Brown and Company.

Comprising more than 250 maps, "Cartographia" celebrates the work of those who have charted the world from the dawn of civilization to the present. Among the rare gems included in the book are the 1507 Waldseemüller world map, the first to include the designation "America"; Orelius’s "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" of 1570, considered to be the first modern atlas; rare maps from Africa, Asia and Oceania that challenge traditional Western perspectives; William Faulkner’s hand-drawn 1936 map of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Miss.; and a map of the human genome.

Vincent Virga is the author of "Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States," which was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club.

Virga and co-author Ron Grim will discuss "Cartographia" as part of the Library’s Books & Beyond author series at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the Center for the Book, the Geography and Map Division and the Publishing Office. For more information, contact the Center for the Book at (202) 707-5221.

"Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations," a 272-page hardcover book with more than 250 color maps and illustrations, is available for $60 from major bookstores nationwide and from the Library of Congress Sales Shop, Washington, D.C. 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at www.loc.gov/shop.

# # #

PR 07-192
09/26/07
ISSN 0731-3527"

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