Archive for: September, 2011

Music Mondays: Five Clapton collaborations

Sep 12 2011 Published by under music mondays

I'm a huge Eric Clapton fan, particularly of his blues output, always have been, always will be. There's only one artist I've seen in concert more time that EC, but more on that later.

One of the things I've always found interesting and admirable about him is his desire to collaborate with other artists, to try and stretch himself a little bit farther. It's also evident in the vast array of wonderful blues guitarists he's recorded with or gone on tour with over the years, either as sidemen or as opening acts. Mark Knopfler, Derek Trucks, Jimmy Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, Doyle Bramhall II, Robert Cray, Jeff Beck, Albert Lee, George Harrison and others. The Collaborations and Guest Appearances part of his discography speaks for itself.

He's also recorded a bunch of collaborative albums in the latter stages of his career, say the last 10 years or so, and I thought I'd highlight five of them here.

So, here's a sampling of some of Clapton's recently recorded collaborative outings.

  • Riding with the King by BB King and Eric Clapton. Remember I mentioned that there was only one artist I've seen in concert more often than Eric Clapton. Yes, that would be BB King, who I've adored since watching him on the Johnny Carson Show with my father when I was a kid. Riding With the King is a terrific blues rock CD.
  • Danger by JJ Cale and Eric Clapton. I guess you could say that JJ Cale was always Clapton's muse for the laid back side of his work. A few years ago they collaborated on a, yes, very laid back CD called The Road to Escondido. Laid back or not, it's well worth a listen. It'll grow on you.
  • Outside Woman Blues by Cream. I guess it's a bit of a stretch to call the 2005 Cream reunion a collaboration rather than just a reunion, but since it had been so long since Clapton had worked with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce and they did a bunch of non-Cream blues tunes, I'll just go for it. They released a CD of their Royal Albert Hall concert, Royal Albert Hall: London May 2-3-5-6 2005.
  • Forever Man by Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton. Clapton and Steve Winwood were in Blind Faith together back in the 60s, but had never toured together as a duo. They remedied that a few years ago and released a CD with highlights of the tour:Live from Madison Square Garden. Their set list was a nice amalgamation of rock standards as well as Clapton and Winwood solo tunes.
  • Layla by Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton. The whole impetus for doing this Clapton list this week is the immanent release of his latest collaborative project, this one with jazzman Wynton Marsalis: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues. The version of Layla that is featured here is a pretty radical reworking of the song, something that Clapton has done a few times before but never quite this way. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest!

If you like these, I'd recommend you troll around on YouTube where you'll find a wide array of performances with Clapton in various collaborative settings. I like this one of Tell the Truth.

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Friday Fun: We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change

Sep 09 2011 Published by under environment, friday fun

The Onion nails it on this one: We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change.

The problem with solving all our climate change-related problems is basically that all the people on the planet are human.

Indeed, if there was ever a time when a desperate call to take action against global warming should race through our heads as we lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, that time is now.

Many well-intentioned people will take 20 seconds out of their week to consider the consequences of the lifestyle they've chosen, perhaps contemplating how their reliance on fossil fuels has contributed to the rapid melting of the Arctic ice cap. But if progress is what we truly want, 20 seconds is simply not enough. Not by a long shot. An issue this critical demands at least 45 seconds to a solid minute of real, concentrated panic.


Global warming must be met with immediate, short-lasting feelings of overwhelming dread, or else life as we know it will truly cease--oh, God, there's nothing we can do, is there? Maybe we're already too late. What am I supposed to do? Unplug my refrigerator? I recycle, I take shorter showers than I used to, doesn't that count for something? Devastating famines and brutal wars fought over dwindling resources? Is that my fault? Jesus, holy shit, someone do something! Tell me what to do! For the love of God, what can possibly be done?

There you have it. I've done my part. Now it's your turn.

Yep, I just had my 45 seconds of blind panic while typing up this entry. How about you?

As others have noted, this is about the best commentary on the challenges of dealing with climate change ever:

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Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship, Summer 2011: E-Science Librarianship: Field Undefined

Another issue full of interesting articles:

If I may highlight one of the articles this time around, I think the E-Science Librarianship: Field Undefined is an interesting and worthwhile examination of job ads for (broadly defined) e-science librarian positions to try and get a handle on what exactly e-science librarianship is and what people in this newly defined area actually do.

The results confirm a definition of e-science librarian: someone who works collaboratively, and uses technology and library skills within the domain of science. Yet this definition is so vague, it does little to answer the question of "what is an e-science librarian" in terms of the actual roles, tasks, and positions of librarians involved in e-science. In fact, by taking a closer look at the job titles and the breakdown of positions in the sample, it becomes clear that e-science librarianship is not a defined field.


This breakdown into categories raises further questions; Will the number of data oriented librarian positions grow or will a hybrid data and subject librarian position become more common? Will the responsibilities currently handled by subject librarians increase to the extent that they become their own position? Will e-science be a standard means of science information work and its features become subsumed by existing positions so that no specific e-science position ever becomes defined? How will and to what extent will e-science methods grow and become universal? These of course are conjectures about the future, with no immediate answers. The answers depend on e-science itself and they will affect libraries and librarian training.


Even if e-science is being applied, whether or not librarians have a role in it and the type of role they have is still unclear.


Currently, it is impossible to know the degree to which e-science will be used and thus how much of a need there will be for anyone, including librarians, to engage e-science.


Organizations thinking of hiring an e-science librarian need to assess what e-science duties current staff can fill, what amount of data is being produced, and if it will need to be or will be required to be shared. Additionally, the state of e-science must continue to be monitored and studied so that those considering it can proceed in a smart and efficient way. E-Science may provide potential for librarians to branch out beyond the bounds of traditional library practices, while still dealing with the information management that characterizes library science. Yet, because e-science is not yet common practice, the library field must proceed into this new territory with caution.

(Emphasis mine.)

I'm not sure if I have anything profound to add to the above other than that none of it really surprises me.

My only worry is that the library field will enter this area with too much caution and just be totally too late to the party, irrelevant and unwanted. Of course, there are equal risks in entering the field, knocking on a bunch of doors, launching a bunch of initiatives and still being viewed as irrelevant and unwanted. It's the kind of thing where a bunch of places need to try a bunch of different things to see what sticks and hopefully why, allowing others to learn and perhaps replicate successes.

But I don't know about you, I'd rather die storming the mountain than sitting quietly in the base camp.

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Around the Web: The device wars, Feudalism knowledge, The wrong kind of Open Access and more

Sep 07 2011 Published by under around the web

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Friday Fun: Asterix books contain 704 victims of brain injury, study finds

Sep 02 2011 Published by under friday fun

I have fond memories of reading the Asterix graphic novels as a kid, both in the original French and especially in the absolutely brilliant English translations -- I'm told quite reliably by my wife, who's a translator, that they are the best she's ever seen. My own kids also really loved them and they were among their favourites for bedtime reading.

Basically, the books are about a bunch of crazy ancient Gaul's who are resisting the Roman occupation, with the help of a bit of magic potion. Let's just say there's a lot of shenanigans and Roman-bashing.

I like this take on the series, from The Guardian's review of a recent study: Asterix books contain 704 victims of brain injury, study finds.

By Toutatis! A group of academics have analysed the traumatic brain injuries in the Asterix comics, identifying 704 head injury victims in the 34 books.

A paper published in the European Journal of Neurosurgery, Acta Neurochirurgica, examines the much-loved books in detail, discovering that of the 704 victims, 698 were male and 63.9% were Roman. One hundred and twenty were Gauls, 59 were bandits or pirates, 20 were Goths, 14 were Normans, eight were Vikings, five were Britons and four were extraterrestrials.


The paper concludes, in admirably deadpan fashion, that "the favourable outcome ... is astonishing, since outcome of traumatic brain injuries in the ancient world is believed to have been worse than today and also since no diagnostic or therapeutic procedures were performed".

The study is Traumatic brain injuries in illustrated literature: experience from a series of over 700 head injuries in the Asterix comic books by Marcel A. Kamp, Philipp Slotty, Sevgi Sarikaya-Seiwert, Hans-Jakob Steiger and Daniel Hänggi and is in Acta Neurochirurgica: The European Journal of Neurosurgery, volume 153, number 6, 1351-1355. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be an OA version.

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