Monday, September 24, 2007

The Web and History

Last week, I attended a meeting hosted by a local young adult / young professionals organization. The organization discusses news and events of concern to the neighborhood and often schedules movie nights that focus on a particular theme. It's great for socializing and learning a new thing or two about our world.

On this evening the movie scheduled was called "Beyond the Gates," a film about a teacher and a Catholic priest caught in the middle of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where Hutu killers massacred Tutsis by the hundreds of thousands. Based on a true story, the movie was rough and gut-wrenching.

The movie--and the entire Rwandan genocide--reminded me of one courageous Canadian solider, Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, a commander on a United Nations mission in the troubled African country.

The tragedy remains raw for anyone taking a casual glance at the story: Lt. Gen. Dallaire's losing battle with U.N. bureaucracy and subsequent inability to act against the chaos unfolding around him and his eventual struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are well chronicled in a book he penned.

Dallaire warns that if we fail to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.


I believe Web technology offers a chance to keep history alive to everyone from a university professor to a student to everyone else in between.

National Public Radio (NPR), the U.S. equivalent of the CBC in Canada, had an interview with Dallaire when his book was published. NPR recorded the interview with Dallaire and now offers it over the Web. Streaming audio technology has been around for several years now, but this is still a remarkable use of the technology. It's live and alive.

Meanwhile, the United States Marine Corps University Archives is actively recording the stories of veteran marines. I recently contacted Dr. Jim Ginther, Archives Team Leader in the Library of the Marine Corps, and asked if he planned on making these recordings available over the Web.

"The long range plan is to make these available on-line," Dr. Ginther explained, adding that "no firm timeline has been set for specific interviews or groups of interviews." The real issue at the moment revolves less around content, but more around hardware and software. "We are in the process of upgrading our systems to allow us to do just what you suggest," he said.

With that, I wished him and his project the best of luck.

The Web remains undoubtedly an exciting place, and an excellent place to share with others stories from the past.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Arrives Silently

It is hard to believe that today is the first day of Fall. Looking outside reminds me of the first day of Summer, actually. No sense staying indoors. Who knows how long this unseasonable weather will last.

Seasons in Washington:

Spring: Check
Summer: Check
Fall: Just beginning
Winter: Soon enough

Monday, September 17, 2007

O.J. 13 Years Later....

This morning, upon switching on my computer, I headed over to the celebrity gossip website (okay, okay, forgive me, it's Monday morning, all right).

Lo and behold, who do I see: O.J. Simpson's latest mugshot, this one taken after his arrest in Las Vegas, Nevada over his alleged attempted robbery at gunpoint, no less, of his own sports memorabilia from a private sports collector.

The story is more clearly elucidated on But, for me, the important part was two-fold:

1. It's like deja vu

2. It was 13 years ago when O.J. made his first sensational running-from-the-law media splash

13 years ago. Back then, I was just about to start university, just about to start my B.A. in History major, just about to embark on a new journey. My God. Time flies. What have I accomplished? What have I done with my time? Earlier this month, on September 11, the U.S. marked the sixth anniversary of 9/11. 6 years already.

Do these types of anniversaries and events put your life into perspective?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Web Design Book Reviews

Although I have not been actively involved with web design since November 2006, I am nonetheless determined to stay current on the evolution of web design.

Digital Web Magazine (a true favorite of mine) provides visitors with a list of book reviews on the latest and best web design books published. Bookmark this page.

Saturday in the Park

Weekend Update

It's Saturday, a much cooler and much more Fall-like day than any other day this past week. Much of the humidity that had heated the city is gone, perhaps vacationing some place much more south than here, like the Caribbean.

This past week at work was very busy and I anticipate an even busier one next week. It seems like I am juggling more and more work as the weeks--and as the projects--move forward. On the one hand, I am pleased that the projects are indeed moving forward; but, on the other hand, I am certainly not welcoming the increased work piling up on my desk or the levels of stress.

As usual, I would love to share with my readers more details. But of course that is not possible due to the sensitive nature of the work. Nevertheless, I really miss sharing this kind of information, for it makes blogging--and connecting with other bloggers--all the more interesting. Being an international civil servant may not be my cup of tea.

Blog Notes

One of the reasons I like reading blogs is because every so often a blogger or two out there writes something that really resonates with me...and in a odd way comforts me when the going gets tough over here in hectic Washington, DC.

There's the blogger who, like myself, misses the academic environment; there's the blogger who, like myself, reflects upon his life and career and realizes that to live authentically is to live without fear of taking risks; and there's the blogger who, like myself, is excited about the web and emerging web technologies and their impact on information services and communication and connecting people, that he writes about these things on an almost daily basis, evangelizing people of the power of the Web.

This is me - I work on the Web

I came across this meme (or web movement) on Michael Stephen's Tame the Web blog and, following a link within said blog post, discovered another blogger espousing the same affirmation: "This is me - I work on the Web."

According to Kathryn Greenhill, the meme started on Flickr and has spawned a Flickr Group called iworkontheweb. Cool.

Although both Michael and Kathryn are librarians, the web affirmation transcends the library and information field (and archives field, of course).

I like this affirmation because it reflects the changing nature and perception of the Web. The Web is no longer on the periphery, on the fringes of regular work and social activity. It is an extension, a natural integral component of work and life now. I am part of it--you are part of it as well--even though I currently find myself in a work environment that is less Web-centric that I had hoped.

To Do Lists

The to-do list is not very long today, but still it sits in front of me, grinning. Okay, it's time to get things done.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My Brush with the Washington Famous

I was taking a leisurely stroll past the George Washington University last week, walking by the the main student gathering area and classrooms, when walking toward me was the former Director of Central Intelligence and head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) R. James Woolsey.

I recognized the former top spy and it would seem as though he knew that I recognized him, for he seemed to pause as he saw me looking at him. Well, there was no discrete exchange of information or clandestine activity. Mr. Woolsey had probably given a lecture at the university and thought I was a student.

One of the perks of living and working in Washington, DC.

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.