Tuesday, 11 December 2007

This should be compulsory viewing

Not in my name Don't watch this if you're afraid of the truth.

Interesting information ethics question: do we have a duty to inform people when we hold information about the serious impact of their everyday behaviour which we believe they have a right and a need to become knowledgeable about, but of which we suspect they may wish to remain ignorant? Is there a way in which to present such information so that the recipient will choose to examine it of their own free will?

Put another way: can we tell people things they really ought to know but they probably don't want to hear?

Friday, 7 December 2007

Vegan Christmas food

Yay! Had a letter from my aunty today saying that she's going to be making entirely vegan food for us all on Boxing Day :-). She and my cousins are allergic to dairy products and one of my cousins was allergic to eggs when he was younger, so they're already pretty knowledgeable about vegan baking and dairy-free food. There'll be my uncle, aunty and cousins, my parents, my husband and me, and between us we have allergies to nuts, dairy, fish, poultry and mushrooms, as well as me being vegan and my husband being vegetarian. Now to most people this would sound like a bit of a nightmare, but it's actually not that difficult when you know what you're doing, it's just a case of being used to certain ways of doing things.

I'm kind of disappointed I don't get to cook over Christmas - we're going to my parents' for Christmas eve, Ian's dad's on Christmas day, my uncle and aunty's on Boxing day and Ian's mum's the day after, then I'm back at work the day after that, where I will no doubt spend the entire day buried under piles of DVDs because everyone borrowed the entire new DVD section because they get them for one extra day over Christmas because of us being closed for three days and will be returning them en masse when we reopen. It seems to make them feel they're getting a bargain by having a DVD for one extra day than normal, but I bet they only watch it once and half the films they borrow will probably be on telly over Christmas anyway. And we're open until 5 on New Year's eve - who the hell is going to be in the library at 5pm on New Year's eve?? Anyway, to remedy the lack of Christmas cooking, we're having a couple of vegan friends over for a post-Christmas dinner the weekend after Christmas.

A bit more potential for corruption at work: we've been asked to bring food on Christmas Eve (any excuse for food at our place, we even have a specific table in the staffroom for putting food out on), so I'll make some chocolate chip cookies (the sort that go crunchy just on the outside and really chewy in the middle) and mini tartlets with red onion, red and yellow peppers and cashew nut sauce (one of my recipes of the moment, think that one will be appearing at one or two Christmas events this year). Sounds like everyone else will be bringing cheese straws or whatever else they can grab from the supermarket, so even more potential for food being impressive :-). Thinking about it, I don't think that many of my colleagues even know I'm vegan, seeing as I never feel the need to bring it up at work, and the ones who do know usually forget. I think they just think I'm really health-conscious because I never eat the cakes and biscuits other people bring in. That and I sometimes bring in vegetable dishes for lunch - usually this is just the remnants of last night's stir-fry or whatever because I'm too mean to buy sandwiches every day!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

This blog is work for my Master's degree. Honest.

At the beginning of our Information Resources and Information Literacy module, we were told by our lecturers, "start a blog, join Facebook, go on Second Life". Apparently all this Web 2.0 business is highly significant in the world of Information Studies and anyone who's anyone has to keep up to date with current developments. To a load of 20-or-30-something-year-old students, however, blogs, Facebook, Second Life and the like are not academic work, they're pissing about on the internet, which is generally what you do when you're avoiding academic work. But who are we to argue with our lecturers?


I play guitar in a band and I make lots of vegan food to feed to other people and myself. I play fiddle in another band, drive a van, sound engineer, work as a library assistant, have fairy lights on my living room wall, don't have a TV, am nearly always calm, own a caravan, am studying to qualify as a librarian, don't like to be predictable, live with my husband in a small house full of musical instruments and bits of PA system, am usually fairly quiet, don't like being told what to do, go to folk festivals, sometimes sleep in the back of my van at said festivals, sometimes play at said festivals, speak French and German, say what I mean, get things done and fear being normal.