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Lynch Coaching


Thursday, July 8, 2010

It may not be book burning...but...

85% of the books have been eliminated from the shelves at the Stanford University Engineering School. Any book not checked out in five years was relegated to digital or to a computer accessed book "order" system.

The trend is toward digital books, which update more often, are more accessible and fit the computer saavy of most incoming college students.

But it lacks one advantage.

The ability to discover gold in the books near or down the isle from the one you are seeking.

I have earned "A"'s on papers by introducing sources discovered in the stacks, deep in the stacks. When UNLV switched to a several story high robot system of access, it took away the ability to find dusty old books and discover what no one has discovered. The trend now is to find the same books or sources as anyone else using search engines designed to highlight the popular or most accessed. So, unique and often revealing and exciting sources, are fading into the dust of history.

And what is happening to these older books. Some are being "archived" in other buildings or boxes. Most are being recycled as paper stock.

It may be book burning, but to this researcher it comes close.

Image source:

President in Las Vegas

President Barack Obama touched down at 4:15 p.m. at McCarran International Airport. He was greeted by Nevada dignitaries that included Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev. before his motorcade departed at 4:25 p.m.

Later tonight, Obama will rally 3,000 supporters at the Aria hotel-casino and raise money for Reid's re-election campaign. Obama also will speak about the economy Friday morning to several hundred invited guests at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, about his plans to turn around the dismal economy. - Las Vegas Reveiew Journal

Transport Terminal at UNLV

UNLV will be home to a new transit center, thanks to a grant announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The $2.8 million grant, received by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, will be used to build a transit center on more than an acre of land near the In and Out Burger on Maryland Parkway.
The center will be a hub for transit for the university and the surrounding area, the RTC said.
The new ACExpress C Line, which connects UNLV to downtown Las Vegas and the northwest valley, will end at the center.
In addition, a future Maryland Parkway bus rapid transit line, and possibly the bus lines on Maryland Parkway and Tropicana Avenue, will connect to the center, RTC General Manager Jacob Snow said.
The campus shuttle system will allow students and visitors to access the entire campus from the center, Snow said. 

A remake you may not have expected

"South Pacific", a new movie for Today's Audiences

“South Pacific” will be returning to the big screen, for the first time since 1958, with a new “harder edged” production taking its cues from the original James Michener book “South Pacific”.

The Rogers and Hammerstein songs and musical score will return, along with classic music from the era, but the film will feature “a tougher, more realistic telling of the same classic story of two very different people whose love for each other transcends their enormous cultural differences…We think there is a whole new audience just waiting to fall in love with its magical score, epic romance and exotic locale,” Bob Balaban or Chicagofilms told Variety about the joint venture with Amber Entertainment.

As with the current Tony Award winning Broadway incarnation, the film will deal more directly with racial and cultural prejudice.

The original musical was among the first to use lyrics to advance the plot and explain its subtleties. Songs such as “You’ve Got to be Taught” told of the underlying theme of the show, however many mostly white audiences of the time simply listened past and instead saw a “fun” musical about lovers in an exotic place. The Broadway revival received criticism for returning language to the show long edited out, including references to “colored” and other racial slurs, and slang concerning ethic differences among the Seabees, referring to Irish, Italian, Hispanic and other groups in what today are not acceptable terms today. In this area, the new film promises to be more historically accurate, probably earning it a "PG-13" instead of a "G" rating.

In the original Broadway production Mary Martin played Nellie the “Cockeyed Optimist”, the primary heroine, but as is still the case today her name was not considered enough of a draw so the movie cast included Mitzi Gaynor as Nellie, and instead of opera great Ezio PinzaRosano BrazziRay Walston portrayed the comic relief, Luther Billis.

I have a particular attachment this show. I was one of the Seabees (can't remember the character name) in a high school production, and have played Billis and Cable several times since. The play has much richer characters and with it story than the classic movie. It remains to see what will happen with this one, but from the press it sounds as if the movie will center ever more around Nellie and Emile, and less on Cable and the other characters.

I also use the "You've Got to Be Taught" song in my classes as an example of the difference between bias and prejudice, which is defined as a strong culturally entrenched bias.