Need a Heterogeneous Digital Preservation Solution?

Are you looking for a digital preservation solution that is open source but not one-size-fits-all? Then check out the tools of the Scalable Preservation Environments (SCAPE) Project, an EU funded digital initiative.

The SCAPE project develops scalable services for planning and execution of institutional preservation strategies on an open source platform that orchestrates semi-automated workflows for large-scale, heterogeneous collections of complex digital objects. SCAPE will enhance the state of the art of digital preservation in three ways: by developing infrastructure and tools for scalable preservation actions; by providing a framework for automated, quality-assured preservation workflows, and by integrating these components with a policy-based preservation planning and watch system. These concrete project results are being validated within four large-scale Testbeds from diverse application areas.

I like the policy-based preservation aspect of this system. That is my area of research for my dissertation.

Are there any particular aspects of this project that caught your attention?

[Source: SCAPE-Project.]

Prudential: The Curious Secrets of a Long Life (Kind of)

the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Do you want to live a long life? Or would you rather live fast and short? Either way, Prudential has some amusing tips for you on how to extend your life. (And if you don’t want to live a long life, now you’ll know what not to do in order to shorten your time on this earth.)

Will you make any changes to your current lifestyle, after watching this video?

From Forest to Food: A Supply Chain Hypothesis

The global food chain supply and deforestationHave you ever thought about from whence your food comes? Do you assume, like me, that most of it is local or from your own country?

If you assumed most food comes from within your own country, then you might be surprised at the hypothetical food supply chains in the graphic, below. I know I was.

So…what is this graphic showing?

“This graphic indicates the complexity of hypothetical global supply chains that could lead from tropical forests to a food product purchased in Austria” (The Little Book of Deforestation Drivers, 2013).

In other words, the graphic displays how your purchase of a fast food hamburger and fries is causing deforestation — hypothetically.

From Forest to Food: a Supply Chain Hypothesis

And more:


Over the last decade the demand for agricultural products for food, feed and fuel and the production of globally traded forest risk commodities (palm oil, beef, soya, and timber) have been responsible for driving over 50% of tropical deforestation, which has major impacts on climate change, the provision of ecosystem services, and the sustainability of long term economic development.

The Little Book of Big Deforestation Drivers, launched at COP 19 on the 18th November 2013, outlines the global context to the drivers of deforestation, provides a detailed overview of the most critical forest risk commodity supply chains, and presents a clear and realistic framework of 24 regulatory, market and supply chain catalysts that can act to reduce deforestation caused by these commodities.

What do you think of this graphic, both in terms of design and content? Do you ensure your food is locally supplied? If not, will you now change your habits and source your food locally? In other words, will reading this graphic cause you to change your food buying habits?

[All quotes and the graphic above via:]

The GDP Monster: Always Under Revision

Gross Domestic Product NBC NewsAh, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Does it keep you awake at night? No? Well, it should. “Why is that?” you ask, “I’ve got other things to worry about.”

Investopedia defines the GDP as “the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.”

So what does that mean in plain English? It means the GDP is an indicator of your standard of living.

If you would like to learn a little more about the GDP, then watch this (U.S.-centric) video. NBC News created this animation to provide a simple explanation of the GDP. (All countries have a GDP; NBC News is focusing on the United States.) | December 20, 2013

The GDP monster: Always under revision

The Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, is constantly being revived. That‘s because counting all the goods and services sold in the country can be a challenging and overwhelming task. Usually, the government issues at least three versions of the GDP, but last year, the figure was revised all the way back to 1929. Watch this video, reported with CNBC’s Jeff Cox to learn why.

Now will you worry about the GDP of your country? :)

If you are in the United States, you may review data about the GDP on the web site of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Surfboards & Golf Carts: Inflation’s Mixed Costs

NBC News Consumer Price Index AnimationHave you ever wondered how U.S. government economists determine inflation, i.e., whether or not costs in the United States are going up or down relative to salaries and the U.S. dollar?

Me, neither. But NBC News did.

They created this short and entertaining animation about the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. The writers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics define the CPI this way: “The Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.” | December 16, 2013

Surfboards & golf-carts: Inflation’s mixed costs

Every month the government issues its measure of consumer inflation, and every month slews of Americans scratch their heads in puzzlement. For a better understanding of this important, but complicated, economic indicator, watch this animation, reported with CNBC’s Allison Linn.

Do you think you understand the CPI now?

The “Surfer’s Code of Ethics”; What Is It and How Do You Display It?

Tribal Law Surfriders Code of EthicsThis week is the 2013 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA. In honor of this annual event, I thought I’d post the Surfer’s Code of Ethics.

What? Surfers have ethics? Believe it or not — yes. Most surfers try to stick to a certain set of guidelines when riding waves in a line up, especially a crowded one. Note that I said, “most”. In one word, it’s about Respect.The various authors of the three sets of the Surfer Code of Ethics, below, summarize what it means to show respect.

Surfrider Foundation’s – The Surfer’s Code

  • Respect the beach, ocean and others
  • The surfer closest to the peak has the right of way
  • First to his or her feet has priority
  • Stay out of the way of riders on waves
  • If in doubt, don’t paddle out
  • Be aware of currents, jetties and other surfers
  • Hold on to your board
  • Clean up after yourself and others less thoughtful
  • Always aid another surfer in trouble
  • Share the water, your knowledge and your stoke
  • Give Respect To Gain Respect

A Surfer’s Code by Shaun Tomson – from the book “Surfer’s Code”

  • I Will Never Turn My Back on the Ocean
  • I Will Paddle Around the Impact Zone
  • I Will Take the Drop with Commitment
  • I Will Never Fight a Rip Tide
  • I Will Paddle Back Out
  • I Will Watch Out for Other Surfers
  • There Will Always Be Another Wave
  • I Will Always Ride into Shore
  • I Will Pass Along My Stoke
  • I Will Catch a Wave Every Day (even in my mind)
  • I Will Honor the Sport of Kings

Nat Young’s Code of Ethics – Give Respect To Gain Respect

  1. Right of Way: Furthest inside, closest to the peak.
  2. Do Not: Drop in or Snake.
  3. Paddling Out: Paddle Wide. Caught inside stay in the white water.
  4. Remember to Communicate: First to feet or on the wave. Call Communicate (Left or Right)
  5. Always: Surf with Your Ability. No big waves until ready. Take off with commitment. Paddle hard.
  6. Danger: Do not let go of your board, it’s a danger to others.

I first came across the Surfer’s Code of Ethics via Louise Southerden. I loved the drawing she included in her book, called, “Tribal Law”, which I have posted below. This image is an initiative by the Vasse Leeuwin Community Health Service in Australia, and is supported by the Surfrider Foundation and Surfing West Australia. I thought it was a great way to portray a great deal of information in a small amount of space. I like the hand drawn aspect to it, too.

Tribal Law Surfriders Code of Ethics

My next encounter with the Surfer’s Code of Ethics came when I attended Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica last March 2013. Joe Walsh, founder of the surf camp, has summarized what us students learn at the camp in a great blog post on surf etiquette. I love the stick drawings. If you are new to surfing, I’d suggest you read his post if you’d like to learn in greater detail how to handle yourself in a line up.

For you non-surfers out there, are there any surprises in this code? For you surfers out there, are there any codes that you would disagree with? Which ones do you find easy to do or hard to do?

Update, 21 August 2013: Silverback Surfers posted “The Best Drop-in Excuses (When Saying Sorry Simply Isn’t Good Enough)“. Love it. Do you have any favorite drop-in excuses you’d like to post, either on their blog or this?

Save the Data

Welcome to my own version of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard-ism).

Yes, I know the US federal budget needs to be cut, but not my programs.

Seriously. :)

The Sunlight Foundation writes:

Some of the most important technology programs that keep Washington accountable are in danger of being eliminated.,, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are facing a massive budget cut, despite only being a tiny fraction of the national budget. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.

The video below provides a brief overview of some of the benefits the open data movement has provided.

If this issue is of concern to you, please sign a petition, write your Congressional Representative or Senator, write a letter to the editor, of just spread the word online via resources such as Twitter or Facebook.