ATG Hot Topics 4/22/16

Erin GallagherBy Erin Gallagher

What a week.  Any Prince fans out there?  As someone who grew up listening to his music and wondering which marvelous galaxy he came from, I was very sad to hear of his passing yesterday.  He was a unique and accomplished musician, and also a patron of the arts.  Librarians who still have VHS in your collections, take a look to see if you have Billboards: The Joffrey Ballet with the music of Prince.  It’s a performance from 1994 in which various choreographers composed pieces for the Joffrey Ballet, all to the wondrous soundings of Prince.  It’s very hard to come by, but so worth a watch.  Here’s a little preview.

A hot topic that’s been lingering for over a decade at this point is the Google Books vs. US Authors Guild saga.  After the 2013 ruling that we mistakenly thought would be the end of the war, the Authors Guild began another battle with the appeals process.  Per the news this week, the appeal was denied by the Supreme Court, which is the final say on the matter.  What’s your final say?  Are Google Books providing significant public benefit?  Or undermining the livelihood of those trying to make it in the writing field?

I like to scan the latest offerings from Open Culture each week, and they’ve got a doozie for us this time.  We now have access to over 67,000 historic maps thanks to Stanford University’s Rumsey Map collection.  If you’re a map-o-phile (is that the word?) like me, you’ll spend far too many hours this weekend delighting in the beauty of historic cartography.  The viewing abilities and metadata for each map are impressive as well. 

Happy Earth Day, everyone!  Take a step outside, breathe in the air, hug a tree, shake hands with a squirrel, and revel in the wonders of our unique planet.  Let’s appreciate it.  It’s the only one we’ve got, at least until we find whatever planet Prince was from and move there…

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