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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Art of Meaningful Living

The Art of Meaningful Living by Christopher Brown, illus. by John Palmer

Part self-help, part coffee table book, The Art of Meaningful Living combines beautiful abstract art with thought-provoking questions.

Christopher Brown, a psychotherapist and social worker, provides ideas and guidance for living more thoughtfully and uses the art by John Palmer to inspire readers to think through those ideas and discover how to apply them to their own lives.

Divided into three main sections (wisdom, action, and resilience), the book strategically places quotes and text beside the art to lead readers into thoughtfulness.

It's the kind of book you can read straight through, but you can also take it in smaller bits, return to a particular section again, or just spend time "marinating on" the inspiration found there.

I found the combination of psychology and art a natural one, and it turned out to be quite interesting. Also, the book really is lovely.

If you're looking for a little life improvement in 2011 (resolutions, anyone?), The Art of Meaningful Living is a nice place to start. Find more information at the website.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lucky Number Two...er, Eight!

Sorry, Anonymous, but I didn't hear back from you, and I'd really like this to get to the winner before Christmas.

So, I randomized again and got Ann!

Congrats, Ann! I'll email you to get your address!

Thanks again, everyone, for playing!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lucky Number Seven!

Hello Anonymous!


Thanks for the blog love! Just email me with your address by Sunday (tiffanydavisnorris at yahoo), and I'll get the package on the way.

Thanks to all who commented! It's been a fun year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

End-of-the-Year Giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who has played along with my monthly giveaways this year! I've had a lot of fun choosing, making, and sending along goodies, and I want to go out with a bang. So, for December's giveaway, you'll receive...

Four holiday books: Aurora of the Northern Lights, The Turkey's Treat, Angels for Christmas, and Max Lucado's Christmas Collection
A seasonal NorrisCreations bookmark
Various yummies (let me just tell you...this will involve chocolate and peppermint)
And...a $10 Starbucks gift card. Because you just can't go wrong with Sbux.

OK, I'll randomize a winner early on Friday, Dec. 17 (hopefully in time to get there by Christmas), so leave a comment to enter. For an additional entry, follow me on Twitter, and leave another comment telling me you did that.

Good luck, and happy holidays!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Abstract...Part Two

The final project in one of my seminars was a paper on social networking. Since I shared the abstract for my author report, I thought I'd share this one as well...

Although online social networking is perhaps better known in popular culture, the overall field of social networking has a rich history of discussing communities, analyzing the people within those groups, and developing models and theories related to their interactions. From the man that many call the father of social networking, Jacob Moreno, to noted professor Harrison White, social networking researchers have built upon the concept’s roots in sociology and anthropology to develop a significant research area that not only studies, but also contributes to social structures. Likewise, information science has a vested interest in these connections as well—when researching information transfer and knowledge management, for instance. The fields of social networking and information science overlap in several other arenas, too, and inter-disciplinary research possibilities are plentiful, as are options for studying how the Internet is affecting both fields. Although research about social networking has significantly increased with the advent of online social networks, researchers agree that there is more information to discover.

Check back tomorrow for the final giveaway of the year!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Social Lives

Social Lives by Wendy Walker

Immersed in luxury and unable to find in it the slightest bit of pleasure.

This seems to be the state of most families in Wilshire, a wealthy suburb of New York City where the rules are strictly defined.

The standard agreement between men and women in places like Wilshire. Husband works. Wife tends to the house, children, and the husband's needs. And she had done that...she had cultivated one of the most envied social lives in Wilshire...she had done the social research and placed herself wherever she needed to be. Getting to this position had been her job, and she had done it well.

The plot centers on four families, each with their own set of worries or problems from financial deceit to infidelity to typical teenage angst. Walker makes the characters' stories compelling without portraying them as overly tragic figures, and she works in plenty of comic relief. Without giving anything away, the end is satisfying but not as picture-perfect as much of chick lit, which was pretty satisfying in itself.

And there's no denying that this is chick-lit, but it's the best kind. Thought-provoking, timely, well-written--all the while striking a balance between light and heavy.

My best endorsement? I'm in the middle of finals, and I couldn't put it down. When I took a study break, this is what I did.

Other favorite quotes...

I don't think you can actually be a feminist anymore. Feminism is really a way of life.

From one topic to the next, there were loud bursts of raucous teenage laughter, the occasional spattering of the word f---, and exaggerated hand iterations--all of which were meant to draw attention and differentiate the young, irreverent free spirits from the older folks who came into Starbucks for a legitimate caffeine fix.

Librarians as Superheroes, Glitch Art, and Roll Tide Librarians

I love entertainment with librarians as superheroes. And I had no idea Superman's mom was a librarian! What?! Who's your favorite of these 20 who save the world?

Librarians as comics are also pretty awesome. Unshelved is the creation of librarian Gene Ambaum and cartoonist Bill Barnes. Funny stuff!

Heard of found art? How about "glitch" art? From the LA Center for Digital Art...

The Hunger Games is on my TBR list. The Tuscaloosa Public Library hosted a Hunger Games Night this semester. Wish I could have been there (and stayed for a game)!

Close to home as well...the University of Alabama's Dr. Steven MacCall won Library Journal's 2010 Teaching Award! Way to go, Dr. MacCall! And more about my {first} SLIS's online library program in this editorial. One more shoutout to Bama--Dr. Bonnici received a grant to help make libraries more accessible. Roll Tide, you two!

Meanwhile, apparently information overload is nothin' new...

Three articles from the Economist about the future of libraries...
And a video about why digital preservation is so important.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Doctoral Differences

I've been watching the first season of Felicity again {as it aired during my four years of college...thought a repeat was in order}, and I couldn't help but notice some of the differences between college life and doctoral life.
  • Clothing. You don't just wear whatever you want. No more going to class {or the grocery store or anywhere, for that matter} in your pajamas. You are an adult, and you dress like it. Often because you're going straight to class from work, and my employers, at least, frown on PJs in the office.
  • Skipping class. We had a tire issue this week, and, for a bit, it looked like I wasn't going to make it to my evening class {one-car family}. In college, this would have been no big deal and, actually, yet another welcome break. {For instance, I think I made it to three of my astronomy classes in the entire semester.} Now? You pretty much can't miss, and you don't really want to miss. It's good stuff to be learned there! {Unlike astronomy, imho.}
  • Late night study sessions. Forget all-nighters. If I'm up until midnight, I am paying for it the next day. I watched the finals episode of Felicity earlier this week, and I was amazed at their countdown--"36 hours until finals...33 hours until finals..." AND THEY NEVER SLEPT. How did they do it? How did I do it? As a friend of ours {and fellow doctoral student} says, "Curse my infernal body! Why can't it be as adept now at handling the aftermath of staying up late as it was back in college?" And this time in life is when not-sleeping would really come in handy! What else did I have to do in college?! Gah!
Anyway, those are the ones that have been bouncing around my head this week, but it's also a whole different game when you're married and working full-time while going to school. That topic deserves its own post.

Wish me luck on finals. :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

{Hoping} No Stress With Shutterfly

I've really struggled with Christmas cards during the last few years. We always try to do a creative photo and end up just shooting one in front of the tree at the last minute. Then I decided to complicate things and make my own cards, which is stressful and not nearly as pretty as these...
or these...
or these...

{Hmm...didn't realize I had picked out all brown. Pretty!}

Anyway, I'm planning to stick with Shutterfly this year. They have a great selection of all types of holiday cards (Hanukkah, too, if you spin the dreidel with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock--both Jewish!).

I also like that many are personalizable (is that a word? is now!) because we usually try to incorporate a Bible verse. I'm all about snow and being jolly and decking the halls, but those of you who share my beliefs know that we must keep our focus on Christ.

My only stressor will be choosing my favorite out of all of these. :)

I haven't used the site before except to look at friends' photos, but the blogger promotion is a good motivator, and I'm thinking it also may be a great online storage site for ours. Right now, I'm mostly using this blog and Facebook, so it would be nice to have a single photo site (and a back-up, oui?).

Thoughts from any current Shutterfly users?

Meanwhile, happy carding!

Read from the beginning...