ATG Hot Topics 12/18/15

Erin GallagherBy Erin Gallagher

It’s beginning to look a lot like…summer!  I wish I could say that a chilly holiday is upon us as I snuggle up in a fuzzy blanket before a warm fire, but it’s still flip-flops and umbrella weather down here in central Florida.  Luckily, I’ll be doing some hiking in south New Zealand over the holiday break, so I’m sure there will be plenty of Antarctic temperatures to experience. 

If, like me, you’re in your office today, you’re likely wrapping up projects before a well-deserved break.  Or you’re barely functioning as Holiday Brain takes hold.  Either way, let’s keep things merry and light today.  In a victory for the freedom of shared information, Creative Commons announced that they’ve reached 1 billion licenses.  This means that over 1 billion songs, photos, videos, presentations, interpretive dances, and other internet artifacts have been licensed by Creative Commons since their release in 2002.  The benefits to the greater public are obvious, but CC licenses have held a special place in the hearts of academics for many years, allowing us to share the fruits of our scholarly toils with others who can learn from and/or build on this content.  A gift for humanity?  I think so.

What could be better than working up a sweat while studying for an exam?  Some schools are jumping on the bandwagon of combining cardio with exam cramming by installing “study cycles” or “study treadmills” in their libraries.  Check out this piece from Inside Higher Ed on how some schools are using FitDesks to attract students to a more vigorous study experience in the library.  It makes sense, at least if you follow the rhetoric that all young millennial college students are crazy about multitasking, but I wonder if students feel self-conscious sweating one out in the library.  Our Library Director is intrigued by this idea, so I’ll keep everyone posted if we end up with any FitDesks.

If I’m being entirely honest, the hottest topic of this week has nothing to do with libraries and everything to do with something that happened A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.  It’s Star Wars release weekend!  The Force officially awakens!  Some of my earliest memories as an early 1980s baby involved hiding behind my dad whenever I heard the Darth Vader theme on the TV.  I also spent many hours playing in the woods and hoping to stumble upon Ewok Village.  My enthusiasm has not lessened as an adult, and if the internet is any indication, it hasn’t lessened for any other adults.  I wish you all a cosmic weekend full of Wookies and Jedis, a cheery holiday, and a splendid New Year.  May the Force be with you. 

P.S. — This bit from Eddie Izzard on the Star Wars trilogy is good for lots of laughs.

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