Retrofitted from department information to a showcase for personal photos

Archive for the ‘Side Trips’ Category

Gallery Opening for UTA Library’s Kris Swenson

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Kris Swenson is one of three artists to be featured in a new collaborative exhibition at the W.A.A.S. Gallery in Dallas, Texas. “Focal Point” opens on Sept. 22, 2012 with a reception from 7 – 11pm. “The collaborative show will exhibit the talents of Edward Ruiz, Eric Trich and Kristin Swenson. Each artist offers a sensory experience in which viewers are invited to interact with a space that has been crafted for them through audio and visual experiences.

Swenson is the first female to show within W.A.A.S. gallery. Her stream of consciousness pieces include sculpture, film, audio design and graphic design. This collaborative show is the first of its kind at W.A.A.S..

W.A.A.S. Gallery is located at 2722 Logan Street, Dallas, Texas 75215. For more information, visit
or on facebook at

Written by dwyer

September 21st, 2012 at 9:34 am

Revisiting Jed Marum performances

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Jed Marum at the Friends of the Library meeting, Dec. 2, 2011.A packed house at the Friends of the Library December meeting heard Jed Marum perform a mix of Celtic folksongs, some of his own compositions, and holiday songs. He accompanied himself on several instruments.

Last weekend the Dallas folksinger participated in a battle reenactment in Oklahoma and this wonderful little snippit of camp life was posted: a duet with Jed and a small fan on violin, performing his song “Come Back Katy” (copyright 2005).

Written by dwyer

February 21st, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Campus Housing

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There is a purple martin house in a pretty little copse next to the parking lot I use south of the Library and Life Sciences building. I had a feeling I was being watched as I walked past earlier this week.


I moved around the structure until the curious occupant took a look to see if I was going to climb up to eat him. I decided against it.


Urban landscapes with active wildlife show a level of health that users may not regularly recognize, but is important. The turtles in the pond under the bridge to the large student parking lot south of my lot, the birds that hop in the fountain on the southwest corner of the Central Library, squirrels that ignore food from people because there is so much indigenous food, they’re welcome signs that the percent of lawn and trees, when compared to the amount of concrete and buildings, sustain an environment for these small animals. I watch people along with the wildlife, and am glad to regularly see individuals walking up the hill from the parking areas pause to watch the antics of a squirrel or grackles in the fountain.

In summer when there were concrete benches under the trees near University Hall one could see these squirrels spread eagle on the cool concrete, dissipating heat from their bodies through their torsos and the membranes at their armpit and groin areas. In fall you can pick up pecans on the lawn of the Library Mall and generate high-pitched scolds from the squirrels that are dropping the nuts from those trees. This isn’t random noise unrelated to you, you’re interacting with that tiny individual.

There’s a lot of life on campus, and I predict that with the advent of the community gardens more wildlife, with an adverse effect, may arrive. Here’s hoping resourceful gardeners can set up the gardens and its defenses in a way that don’t harm the beneficial wildlife while still finding a way to exclude the interlopers. The many facets of companion planting are useful in this. And have-a-heart traps. As with the squirrel above, wildlife doesn’t always live in the places we would wish them to (or not.)

Written by dwyer

December 15th, 2011 at 10:29 am

It Gets Better

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Not Library-Stuff, just a darned good video from the employees at Apple.

Written by dwyer

April 14th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

The Bermuda Triangle of Productivity

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Alas, how true.

Written by dwyer

January 31st, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Is the New Green Really Green?

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The library is gearing up for fall semester, it’ll be here before we know it. Announcements will fly out the door soon enough. But if you’re looking for something to read in the meantime, take a look at this well-researched article on compostable food and beverage containers from my hometown paper, The Herald (the home page is in Everett, Washington.


Some of this came to my attention recently on Howard Garrett’s site when someone suggested testing the new Sun Chips compostable bag in his compost pile. It took a long time there to begin to break down, but it finally did show signs of losing the battle to compost micro-organisms.

The article published Aug. 15, 2010, is called “What Packaging is Compostable? It’s Complicated” and is by staff writer Sarah Jackson. Here’s the beginning of the article:

Compostable is the new organic.

It’s a word increasingly showing up on food and beverage packaging.

Disposable cups, take-out containers, throw-away cutlery and potato chip bags emblazoned with the word are trickling into restaurants, grocery stores and coffee shops.

It means the material in question will biodegrade or break down into compost, a valuable, mulchlike material that gardeners use to improve soil and stop weed growth.

But, in an age of businesses eager to promote an eco-friendly image, the definition of compostable is changing quickly and causing widespread confusion.

If you think you can throw all compostable products in your backyard compost, think again.

Some compostable products will break down easily only if they make it to a commercial composting facility.

Others won’t break down at all because they simply aren’t made of the right materials, said Steve Mojo, the executive director of the New York-based Biodegradable Products Institute, which runs a national program that certifies compostables.

“There are many people out there that make claims that are, frankly, misleading,” Mojo said.

Even legitimately compostable packaging materials can be perplexing to consumers because many of them look exactly like traditional plastic products.

In much of the new compostable packaging, traditional plastics are replaced with similar looking, but biodegradable, corn-based plastics.

And, some corn-based plastics have No. 7 recycling symbols printed on them. But they shouldn’t go into your recycle bin with your soda bottles.


You are not alone.

Though it is in the typical 1-sentence paragraph style found on many online newspapers, it’s worth the choppy presentation to read the whole thing. This is the science that will allow environmentally-minded consumers to make good choices, and to vote with their pocketbooks. Tell your fast food establishments you want them to serve you on a better type of disposable container.

There are a lot of good links included (like the Sins of Greenwashing and ground-breaking composting researchers Cedar Grove Composting in Everett –

Written by dwyer

August 15th, 2010 at 11:36 am