Monday, April 09, 2007

Giant Australian cuttlefish found

Thanks, Sherry, for leading me to this:

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder!

The cuttlefish ranges in size from about 3 inches (8 centimeters) to
about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long. Its oval body is commonly brown with
crossbands and purple spots. It is brilliantly metallic in the sunlight
and often changes color. The cuttlefish's body is surrounded with a
frilled fin.

Night is dangerous for giant Australian cuttlefish. They live in rock
reefs and are known to dive to the depths of the nearby sea grass to
avoid being eaten. For years scientists have studied the beautiful
colors that these animals (these cephalopods are kindred to the squid
and octopus) can turn. However, they have only studied them during

Technology has improved enough to allow these scientists to study them
at night using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with a video camera
attached. What they are discovering is cuttlefish DO change color at
night too! The reason postulated is that their predators have good
night vision and can find them, and that the night vision and color
adaptation skills of the cuttlefish are good enough to keep themselves
hidden in plain sight.

Because visual predation in the world under the ocean at night has not
been studied, scientists are excited to be discovering information from
the other half of the daily cycle of life – at least in the Australian

The above definition along with a great picture is from the World book
Encyclopedia which you and your students can locate at the State Library
of Kansas site starting at . You can also find articles in SIRS,
Thomson-Gale (InfoTrac) which includes the article by Roger Hanlon, et
al Adaptable Night Camouflage by Cuttlefish from The American Naturalist
vol. 169:4 (April 2007) that inspired this message, and from ProQuest.

Sherry Hawkins Backhus, MLS
Information Professional
"Who dares to teach must
never cease to learn."
John Cotton Dana

Register for a temporary Kansas Library Card at:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Library Cat

From Shelf Awareness: Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade
Wed, April 4, 2007

...Incidentally for $1.25 million, Grand Central just bought the story of Dewey the cat, who lived in the public library of Spencer, Iowa, for 19 years, becoming "a town mascot who lifted the spirits of residents hit hard by the 1980s farming crisis," as today's New York Times described it. "In the process he attracted the attention of tourists, cat-calendar makers and filmmakers."

The book, tentatively titled Dewey: a Small Town, a Library and the World's Most Beloved Cat, will be written by Vicki Myron, head librarian at the Spencer library, and Bret Witter, former editorial director of Health Communications.

The Times story purrs the phrase Marley & Me several times.


Juli brought her cat to the library last week, to spend the day while she worked, and save her a trip home when she left for Oklahoma City that evening. I guess the cat is used to a quiet environment... whatever... she hid herself for the entire day. The next morning, Lonnie reports that she followed him around the library as he opened it for the day. I fugure that she must have been hungry by then.

Anyway, the next time she was spotted, Ronda yelled "Catch her!" and did, then put her in the listening lab for a friend of Juli's to take to her home.

That and the two kittens I from Judy that I kept here for one day 2 years ago before taking them home to join the family are the sum total of the experience we have with cats in the library. But there were a lot of students who were eager to visit with and pet all three. I guess the fish in the aquarium aren't so cuddly.

So if this book about Dewey takes off, he will be great PR for the whole idea of a cat in the library. Maybe then I can go ahead and get one here in the college library. The students who like cats will be happy. And really, does anyone who loves libraries not like cats?


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Book of the Month -- e-book, that is.

Caesar in Gaul and Rome
War in Words

By Andrew M. Riggsby
University of Texas Press, 2006

Winner of the 2006 AAP/PSP Award for Excellence, Classics and Ancient History

Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with Latin knows "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres" ("All Gaul is divided into three parts"), the opening line of De Bello Gallico, Julius Caesar's famous commentary on his campaigns against the Gauls. But what did Caesar intend to accomplish by writing and publishing his commentaries, how did he go about it, and what potentially unforeseen consequences did his writing have?

These are the questions that author Andrew Riggsby pursues in the award-winning Caesar in Gaul and Rome. Named by the Association of American Publishers as the 2006 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) award winner for Excellence in Classics and Ancient History, Caesar in Gaul and Rome uses contemporary literary methods to examine the historical impact De Bello Gallico had on the Roman reading public and offers a fresh interpretation of Julius Caesar's Gallic War that focuses on Caesar's construction of national identity and self-presentation.

Get this book by going to our catalog and finding it there:

You'll have to use your pipeline account to get into the book...

There was lots of discussion at ACRL in Baltimore on new technologies. I'm beginning to think that we are getting ahead of our customers. I hope this book is not hard to get to... please let me know if you find that a challenge.


April Events

I'm just back from ACRL at Baltimore, and it was very good. I'll post a bit more on it, but am working through emails this afternoon. Just came across this one...

Several significant world events happened during the month of April:
The Titanic struck an iceberg, San Francisco sustained an earthquake
and resulting fire, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated a week
after the end of America's civil war and the modern Olympic games began
in 1896. Learn the details of those, and other events, in this summary
of April Highlights.

Group access to the site is free for all schools, libraries and
educators. Request group access with this form. It is also
free, through May, for individual students, library patrons and members
of the general public. Select an individual password with this form. The
site's privacy policy is strictly

Carole Bos
Dean's Advisory Board
Grand Valley State University