Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Plains, Kansas, in Search of a Grocery Store




A Kansas Town Rallies For a Modest Lifeline:  A Local Grocery Store.  (The New York Times, 12/29/2014)

Welcome to Plains.
Unlike some rural communities, Plains is not on the brink of death. It has about 1,150 residents, a figure that has stayed mostly steady for decades. There is a newly remodeled library, a busy post office and a high school a few miles outside of town

Residents gather for coffee in the morning at Daylight Donuts, plan their evenings around youth choir concerts and speak highly of the Saturday night sirloin specials at the Plains Tavern

“Plains is definitely a typical small town, with a small-town atmosphere,” said Elton Argo, the school district superintendent. “It’s a safe, very comfortable community.” 

But there are also empty storefronts, residential streets with overgrown sidewalks, and many people who grew up here now raising their own families elsewhere.

The Americans: The Colonial Experience. Book 2. Viewpoints and Institutions. Part 8: New World Medicine



Chapter 34.  Nature-Healing and Simple Remedies
  • Natural  history emphasis encouraged among doctors
    • many naturalists with medical backgrounds
    • collecting, describing, and interpreting done by American physician-naturalist, while systematizing was done in England
  • European medicine bogged down in dogma
    • single cause explaining human health
    • each professional offering his own simplistic explanation of bodily functions
    • rigidity lasted well into 19th century as doctors actually did more to kill than to cure their patients
  •  American amateur doctor was likely to let nature run its course, where the European physician used whatever extreme measures that were part of his dogma

Chapter 35.  Focus on the Community
  • Ailments which were endemic in England became epidemic in America
  • Similarities in interests and achievements of Ben Franklin and Cotton Mather
    • undiscriminating universality of interest unconfined by prior theories
    • lack of originality
    • intense practicality
    • unsystematic and random approach to philosophy
    • willingness to be challenged by New World opportunities
  • Mather's Angel of Bethesda (1724)
    • first general treatise written in the colonies
    • expressed a non-theoretical view alien to many learned European doctors
    • less interested in causes than in remedies of disease
  • Mather's progress against smallpox
    • public appeal to doctors in Boston to inoculate
    • set off violent controversy
    • despite opposition's outburst, Mather could conduct successful inoculation experiments and show results that commanded attention
    • his progress opened minds to the curability of other diseases
    • influence spread up and down the colonies
    • how inoculation became established as an American institution
      • crude, empirical strain
      • carelessness of theory
      • insistence on results
    • by 1776, smallpox was under control
      • increased in England until 1800
      • epidemics became less frequent and stirred less terror

Chapter 36.  The General Practitioner
  • English social snobbery
    • result of a rigid, well-established aristocracy
    • boundaries between occupations
    • resisted new knowledge and new ways of doing things
    • along with clergy,  law and medicine were most elaborately subdivided
  • Changes for the worse taking place in the organizations of numerous medical professions in 17th and 18th centuries
    • rigidity and complexity increased
    • Royal College of Medicine chose applicants on basis of social accomplishments
    • no real instruction given
    • this absurd situation did not cross the Atlantic
  • Professional organization of doctors in America
    • loose conglomeration
    • boundaries of specialists were vague or non-existent
    • government control over medicine never developed
    • fluid situation rather than ancient institutions shaped medical practices 
    • much of early doctoring done by ministers
  •  Results of America's redefinition of medical role
    • numerous English specialties became combined into the work of a general practitioner
    • general practitioner became more involved in the larger class of persons concerned with the political and religious welfare of the community

Chapter 37.  Learning from Experience
  •  Apprentice system
    • few Americans could afford to study abroad
    • about 1 in 9 doctors had medical degrees
    • usual, almost exclusive path to profession
  • John Morgan (1735-1789)
    • Philadelphia doctor who pleaded for specialization (physic, surgery, pharmacy)
    • helped to establish first medical school
  • Impoverished American medical situation
    • lack of theoretical advances
    • no imaginative or fruitful laboratory investigations
    • frontiers of speculative medicine remained in England
  • American experience broke down social as well as intellectual distinctions among different medical branches
    • reuniting divided fragments of experience
    • improvement of hospital and nursing
  • Pennsylvania Hospital
    • founded by Dr. Thomas Bond in 1751 with help of Ben Franklin
    • extraordinarily successful according to standards of the time

Wisconsin Legislature Passes, Governor Walker Signs 15 Bills Relating to Voting and Elections During the 2013-2014 Legislative Session


  1. 2013 Wisconsin Act 146 - Relating to: limiting the times for voting by absentee ballots in person. 
  2. 2013 Wisconsin Act 147 - Relating to: residency of election officials. 
  3. 2013 Wisconsin Act 148 - Relating to: reporting registration and voting statistics. 
  4. 2013 Wisconsin Act 149 - Relating to: transferring responsibility over biennial updating of voter registration list to the Government Accountability Board. 
  5. 2013 Wisconsin Act 155 - Relating to: the method of reporting election returns by municipalities.
  6. 2013 Wisconsin Act 159 - Relating to: absentee voting at residential care facilities. 
  7. 2013 Wisconsin Act 160 - Relating to: providing a printed name for signers of nomination papers and petitions. 
  8. 2013 Wisconsin Act 169 - Relating to: repealing the schedule of election occurrences. 
  9. 2013 Wisconsin Act 176 - Relating to: the method of recounting votes cast with automatic tabulating equipment. 
  10. 2013 Wisconsin Act 177 - Relating to: certification of election observers. 
  11. 2013 Wisconsin Act 178 - Relating to: counting votes for write-in candidates. 
  12. 2013 Wisconsin Act 179 - Relating to: labeling of duplicate ballots. 
  13. 2013 Wisconsin Act 180 - Relating to: securing the ballot container. 
  14. 2013 Wisconsin Act 181 - Relating to: party representation for election officials serving at polling places. 
  15. 2013 Wisconsin Act 182 - Relating to: recording the type of identifying document provided by an elector as proof of residence. 

Source:  Wisconsin State Legislature

Scott Walker Get Instructively Defensive When Asked About Right-to-Work Legislation


Walker still noncommittal on right-to-work, other issues.  (Capital Times, 12/30/2014)


1,000 bills?   Not likely, based on the previous legislative session.

Here's a recent report (the week of December 22, 2014) from the Legislative Reference Bureau.
The Legislature is not expected to return to business until the new session begins in January 2015.

The Legislature concluded the last general-business floorperiod for the 2013-14 session on April 1. Governor Walker signed 380 bills into law during the 2013-14 Session, four of which were vetoed in part. One bill was fully vetoed. All bills passed by the Legislature have been acted on by the governor.  (emphasis added)


Here's a partial list of those bills Walker signed in 2013-14 that he conflates with right-to-work legislation:
  • Relating to: alcohol sale, possession, and consumption at Peninsula State Park
  • Relating to: the vehicle registration exemption for amphibious motor vehicles
  • Relating to: operation of certain existing sport shooting ranges
  • Relating to: payment of county medical examiners and medical examiner's assistants
  • Relating to: the definition of intoxicant
  • Relating to: the regulation of oleoresin of capsicum in containers sold in this state
  • Relating to: warning lights on police vehicles
  • Relating to: warning lights on school buses 

Related posts:
Robin Vos dedicates this song to Scott Fitzgerald.  (12/4/2014)
Of course Rep. Kapenga hasn't drafted a bill; it's already been done for him.  (12/4/2014)
Just a coincidence, I'm sure: Wisconsin Right to Work has a free-market suggestion for Robin Vos. (12/1/2014)

Scott Walker Misspeaks


A headline I can use on a daily basis.

Walker still noncommittal on right-to-work, other issues.  (Capital Times, 12/30/2014)


Seem to me, the "gathering more information" belies the "haven't even thought about it".

Total Annual Hours of Operation (1996-2013) and Total Square Footage (2000-2012) of Wisconsin Public Libraries: Crawford County



Public libraries in Crawford County:







Related posts:
Adams County.  (12/22/2014)
Ashland County.  (12/23/2014)
Barron County.  (12/24/2014)
Bayfield County.  (12/25/2014)
Brown County.  (12/26/2014)
Buffalo County.  (12/26/2014)
Calumet County.  (12/27/2014)
Chippewa County.  (12/28/2014)
Clark County.  (12/29/2014)
Columbia County.  (12/30/2014)

Portage County WI: Public Access Internet Computers (1999-2013) and Print Serial Subscriptions (1996-2013


2010 population:  70,019

Public libraries in PortageCounty

This line-graph series is the result of my wondering if there's any pattern to the number of print serial subscriptions held by public libraries in relation to the increasing number of public access Internet computers provided by public libraries since 1999. (Earliest year for which Wisconsin statistics are available.)


Note: The 1996, 1997, 1998 Wisconsin public library annual reports asked for the following information: Libraries with Internet access. (Answered yes or no.) Libraries with electronic services. (Answered yes or no.) In 1999, public libraries reported the number of public access Internet computers for the first time in the annual report.

Percentage change from peak year (1996-2013):  -31.8%


Other posts in series
(with percentage change in print serial subscriptions from peak year)
Adams County, -35.6%.  (11/12/2014)
Ashland County, -1.3%.  (11/13/2014)
Barron County, -18.5%.  (11/14/2014)
Bayfield County,+106%.  (11/15/2014)
Brown County, -22%.   (11/16/2014)
Buffalo County, -18%.  (11/17/2014)
Burnett County, -4.4%.  (11/18/2014)
Calumet County, -23.1%.  (11/19/2014)
Chippewa County, -37.6%.  (11/20/2014)
Clark County, -9.0%.  (11/21/2014)
Columbia County, -11.3%.  (11/22/2014)
Crawford County, -3.6%.  (11/23/2014)
Dane County, -16.1%.  (11/24/2014)
Dodge County, -21.2%.  (11/25/2014)
Door County, -37.1%.  (11/26/2014)
Douglas County, -19.1%.  (11/27/2014)
Dunn County, -21.2%.  (11/28/2014)
Eau Claire County, -39.5%.  (11/29/2014)
Florence County, +429%.  (11/30/2014)
Fond du Lac County, -32.5%.  (12/1/2014)
Forest County, -20.8%.  (12/2/2014)
Grant County, NA.  (12/3/2014)
Green County, -1.6%.  (12/4/2014)
Green Lake County, -11.0% . (12/5/2014)
Iowa County, +9.1%.  (12/6/2014)
Iron County, +50.9%.  (12/7/2014)
Jackson County, +48.3%.  (12/8/2014)
Jefferson County, -27.9%.  (12/9/2014)
Juneau County, +46.3%.  (12/10/2014)
Kenosha County, -37.9%.  (12/11/2014)
Kewaunee County, -28.0.  (12/12/2014)
La Crosse County, -30.2%.  (12/13/2014)
Lafayette County, -1.0%.  (12/14/2014)
Langlade County, -53.0%.  (12/15/2014)
Lincoln County, -45%.  (12/16/2014)
Manitowoc County, -28.5%.  (12/17/2014)
Marathon County, -50.1%.  (12/18/2014)
Marinettte County, NA.  (12/19/2014)
Marquette County, -59.5%.   (12/20/2014)
Menominee County, NA.  (12/21/2014)
Milwaukee County, -76.0%.  (12/22/2014)
Monroe County, -27.5%.  (12/23/2014)
Oconto County, -32.4%.  (12/24/2014)
Oneida County, +16.5%.  (12/26/2014)
Outagamie County, -20.0%.  (12/26/2014)
Ozaukee County, -32.9% .  (12/27/2014)
Pepin County, -14.4%.  (12/28/2014)
Pierce County, -15.2%.  (12/29/2014)
Polk County, -10.7%.  (12/30/2014)
Portage County, -31.8%.  (12/31/2014)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ouch! Fines and lost wages are putting a big crimp in Ndamukong Suh's bank balance


Source:  Fines



Vive la difference

It must say something about my life if, while shopping for toiletries at Target, I felt moved to take a video of this display.

video

West Salem Man Tries Out His Comic Chops with a 0.18% Blood-Alcohol Level


West Salem man who allegedly rammed car charged with drunken driving, reckless endangerment.  (Madison.com, 12/30/2014)



Jesse's punishment will include listening to this little ditty for 8 straight hours.

President Obama's Approval Ratings: What a Difference a Day Makes!


24 little hours.



Jeb Bush Starts to Break Away from the Pack in Latest CNN/ORC Poll


CNN/ORC poll
Interviews with 1,011 adult Americans conducted by telephone by ORC International on December 18 - 21 , 2014. The margin of sampling error for results based on the t otal sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The sample includes 660 interviews among landline respondents and 351 interviews among cell phone respondents.


A steadily growing list of 2016 Republican primary posts:
Jeb Bush on top with 14% in latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.  (12/19/2014) 
Scott Walker's next dance moves.  (12/17/2014)
McClatchy-Marist poll of 1,140 national adults (December 3-9, 2014).  (12/16/2014)
Let's take a look at the flip side: Jeb Bush to "inactively explore" run for president.  (12/16/2014)
In the comfort of his Chevy Chase den, Charlie Cook predicts the possibility of big things for Scott Walker in Iowa.  (12/15/2014)

The Deluxe 12-Roll Toilet Paper Dispenser


Photo by Retiring Guy

Consider the research possibilities.


Picture these contenders for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, each with his own roll.  (Listed in alphabetical order.)
  1. Jeb Bush
  2. Ben Carson
  3. Chris Christie
  4. Ted Cruz
  5. Mike Huckabee
  6. Bobby Jindal
  7. Rand Paul
  8. Rick Perry
  9. Marco Rubio
  10. Paul Ryan
  11. Rick Santorum
  12. Scott Walker

In this case, the first to reach the cardboard tube should probably decide to bow out of the race.

Or toilet paper manufacturers could research color preferences, if they ever decide to go that route again.

But you'd have to triple the number of "bath-towels colors" that Delsey offered once upon a time.

Will a change in the definition of "reference transaction" have any impact on these declining numbers?


A 34% drop since Wisconsin's peak year of 1998, a year before the Wisconsin Public Library Service Data reported the number of public access Internet computers in public libraries.


Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report: What’s New  Reporting Library Activities for 2014. (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)
To reflect changes in the types of reference requests that libraries receive, the federal definition of reference transactions has been revised. 

Reference Transactions are information consultations in which library staff recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs. A reference transaction includes information and referral service as well as unscheduled individual instruction and assistance in using information sources (including web sites and computer-assisted instruction). Count Readers Advisory questions as reference transactions.

Information sources include: 
  • printed and non-printed material  
  • machine-readable databases (including computer-assisted instruction) 
  • the library’s own catalogs and other holdings records  
  • other libraries and institutions through communication or referral
  • persons both inside and outside the library.
When a staff member uses information gained from previous use of information sources to answer a question, the transaction is reported as a reference transaction even if the source is not consulted again. 
If a contact includes both reference and directional services, it should be reported as one reference transaction. Duration should not be an element in determining whether a transaction is a reference transaction

The article cited here doesn't fully reflect my own view of reference services, but I found this particular quote instructive.

From the concluding section of Re-conceptualizing the ‘reference transaction':   the case for interaction and information relationships at the public library reference desk by Mary Cavanagh University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
From a management perspective, the needs are different. Library administrators are constantly reviewing their priorities and services to allocate funds in the most effective means possible while meeting their institutional goals and objectives . Reference desk work has only typically been measured through ‘stick counts’ on annual surveys, aggregated across all branch libraries into one number.
But such quantification misses capturing some of these significant dimensions of the reference process – knowledge and knowing are present, knowledge sharing can be more mutual and users often come to their library with prior experience of relationship, regardless of whether or not that particular interaction shows evidence of this relationship in the moment. And in certain settings, evidence suggests that even silence can speak volumes about information and knowledge connections.

As a library administrator today, I'd be more interested in the amount of time that reference desk staff spend interacting with the public, not the number of actual transactions.

For the sake of example, let's say a full-time Adult Services Librarian is scheduled to work the reference desk 20 hours per week.  What percentage of his or her time -- how many of those 1200 minutes -- are spent in "reference transaction" mode?   And how much time was spent in duties that just as easily could have been accomplished off-desk?

A low percentage might not necessarily be attributable to a lack of business.  It may indicate the need for additional training,  perhaps in the areas of verbal and nonverbal communication skills.  It would also provide opportunities for roving.

In other words, Brownback's "real-live experiment" for right-wing policies is a huge bust

Correction:  Keeping Kansas in the Red


Republicans see Kansas tax cuts as 'cautionary tale'.  (Kansas City Business Journal, 12/29/2014)

Should we be concerned that Wisconsin is not mentioned here?
Republicans in states such as Indiana, Ohio, Iowa and Georgia say Kansas is serving as a cautionary tale on the dangers of aggressive tax cuts. The lesson appears to point to phased-in cuts and triggers that depend on state revenue.


Related posts:
Republicans gone wild in Kansas.  (12/26/2014)
Dear Governor Brownback.  (12/25/2014)
Dueling Headlines, or, Just because Sam Brownback says it, doesn't mean it's so.  (12/20/2014)
KC Healthy Kids needs to work on its timing.  (12/20/2014) 
Sam Brownback: "The sun is shining in Kansas and don't let anyone tell you different."  (12/11/2014)
Why it's probably best not to be in Kansas anymore.  (12/11/2014)
So....does this make Sam Brownback a liar?  (12/10/2014)
Scott Walker takes his tax cut cues from Sam Brownback.  (11/13/2014)
Scott Walker, Sam Brownback, and Rick Scott: The comeback copycats.  (10/25/2014)
Governors Sam Brownback and Scott Walker use the same playbook.  (9/15/2014)
You don't have to inhale deeply to catch a whiff of Wisconsin here.  (9/15/2014)
It's not a pretty picture for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.  (7/18/2014)
As Kansas becomes increasingly irrelevant, a goofy sideshow.  (2/14/2014)

Total Annual Hours of Operation (1996-2013) and Total Square Footage (2000-2012) of Wisconsin Public Libraries: Columbia County


Source:  Wikipedia


Public libraries in Columbia County:


Source:  Wisconsin Public Library Service Data

Poynette library expansion near completion.  (Portage Daily Register, 5/6/2014)
Pardeeville library taking shape,  (Portage Daily Register, 5/23/2013)  There won’t be more space, said Library Director Kelly Sternberg, but there will be better space. 



Related posts:
Adams County.  (12/22/2014)
Ashland County.  (12/23/2014)
Barron County.  (12/24/2014)
Bayfield County.  (12/25/2014)
Brown County.  (12/26/2014)
Buffalo County.  (12/26/2014)
Calumet County.  (12/27/2014)
Chippewa County.  (12/28/2014)
Clark County.  (12/29/2014)

Polk County WI: Public Access Internet Computers (1999-2013) and Print Serial Subscriptions (1996-2013


2010 population:  44,205

Public libraries in Polk County

          This line-graph series is the result of my wondering if there's any pattern to the number of print serial subscriptions held by public libraries in relation to the increasing number of public access Internet computers provided by public libraries since 1999. (Earliest year for which Wisconsin statistics are available.)


          Note: The 1996, 1997, 1998 Wisconsin public library annual reports asked for the following information: Libraries with Internet access. (Answered yes or no.) Libraries with electronic services. (Answered yes or no.) In 1999, public libraries reported the number of public access Internet computers for the first time in the annual report.

          Percentage change from peak year (2006-2013):  -10.7%

          Other posts in series
          (with percentage change in print serial subscriptions from peak year)
          Adams County, -35.6%.  (11/12/2014)
          Ashland County, -1.3%.  (11/13/2014)
          Barron County, -18.5%.  (11/14/2014)
          Bayfield County,+106%.  (11/15/2014)
          Brown County, -22%.   (11/16/2014)
          Buffalo County, -18%.  (11/17/2014)
          Burnett County, -4.4%.  (11/18/2014)
          Calumet County, -23.1%.  (11/19/2014)
          Chippewa County, -37.6%.  (11/20/2014)
          Clark County, -9.0%.  (11/21/2014)
          Columbia County, -11.3%.  (11/22/2014)
          Crawford County, -3.6%.  (11/23/2014)
          Dane County, -16.1%.  (11/24/2014)
          Dodge County, -21.2%.  (11/25/2014)
          Door County, -37.1%.  (11/26/2014)
          Douglas County, -19.1%.  (11/27/2014)
          Dunn County, -21.2%.  (11/28/2014)
          Eau Claire County, -39.5%.  (11/29/2014)
          Florence County, +429%.  (11/30/2014)
          Fond du Lac County, -32.5%.  (12/1/2014)
          Forest County, -20.8%.  (12/2/2014)
          Grant County, NA.  (12/3/2014)
          Green County, -1.6%.  (12/4/2014)
          Green Lake County, -11.0% . (12/5/2014)
          Iowa County, +9.1%.  (12/6/2014)
          Iron County, +50.9%.  (12/7/2014)
          Jackson County, +48.3%.  (12/8/2014)
          Jefferson County, -27.9%.  (12/9/2014)
          Juneau County, +46.3%.  (12/10/2014)
          Kenosha County, -37.9%.  (12/11/2014)
          Kewaunee County, -28.0.  (12/12/2014)
          La Crosse County, -30.2%.  (12/13/2014)
          Lafayette County, -1.0%.  (12/14/2014)
          Langlade County, -53.0%.  (12/15/2014)
          Lincoln County, -45%.  (12/16/2014)
          Manitowoc County, -28.5%.  (12/17/2014)
          Marathon County, -50.1%.  (12/18/2014)
          Marinettte County, NA.  (12/19/2014)
          Marquette County, -59.5%.   (12/20/2014)
          Menominee County, NA.  (12/21/2014)
          Milwaukee County, -76.0%.  (12/22/2014)
          Monroe County, -27.5%.  (12/23/2014)
          Oconto County, -32.4%.  (12/24/2014)
          Oneida County, +16.5%.  (12/26/2014)
          Outagamie County, -20.0%.  (12/26/2014)
          Ozaukee County, -32.9% .  (12/27/2014)
          Pepin County, -14.4%.  (12/28/2014)
          Pierce County, -15.2%.  (12/29/2014)
          Polk County, -10.7%.  (12/30/2014)

          Monday, December 29, 2014

          Douglas Coates (1950-2014) Warren Area High School Class of 1968



          1968 Dragon yearbook

          "Douglas" enjoyed his best years during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.   He started to go into serious decline in the 1990s but managed to reverse course last year.


          This song had been in the top 10 for nearly 2 months when the class of '68 graduated.


           
          Other class of '68 members:
          Jennifer Robinault Morell.  (9/6/2014)
          Jacquelyn Johnston Malone.  (7/31/2014)
          Janet Vavala Smith.  (3/25/2014)

          How Much House Can You Buy with Your $1,900,000?



          What You Get for ... $1,900,000.  Homes for Sale in Virginia, Los Angeles and Iowa.  (The New York Times, 12/24/2014)

          1355 Miller Place, Los Angeles, CA.

          47 photos of Marion Iowa McMansion.

          Robots as Camel Jockeys




          Sprinting Over the Dirt, With a Robot on the Hump.   Camel Racing Blends Centuries-Old Traditions and Modern Technology.   (The New York Times, 12/26/2014)
          Sports are important in this region, both in the U.A.E. — where big-money sponsorships and high-end events happen in everything from cricket and soccer to rugby and golf — and in other countries, like Qatar, which will host the 2019 track and field world championships and the 2022 World Cup. Yet while much of the action here is geared toward outsiders, there is at least one aspect of sporting life that remains primarily a locals’ game. 

          Camel racing, in one form or another, has been part of Arabian culture for generations, with some historians tracing races to the seventh century. Camels are viewed as magnificent creatures here — there are even camel beauty pageants — and racing is seen as a unifying activity, a sport that brings together people of all backgrounds, whether royals or paupers, businessmen or laborers.

          This video is from 2007.



          Related posts;
          Grillbots or grill brush.  (12/27/2014)
          Workers of the world, meet your new comrades.   (12/17/2014)
          Robots at the Westport Library
          .  (10/4/2014)
          The Botlr boy.  (8/13/2014)
          Hands-free milking.  (4/23/2014)
          This security guard works for $6.25 an hour.  (12/4/2013)
          One day my robot will come.  (5/20/2013)
          Teleoperation:  The key to mining's efficiency, productivity, and profitability.  (3/7/2013)
          Time to revise those library page job descriptions?  (9/2/2011)
          Remote-control robots enter the workforce.  (8/26/2011)