Wednesday, August 22, 2007

People search with Spock reports on the newest entry into the world of people search,, which launched its beta version recently.

Spock, which stands for "single point of contact (by) keyword" is focused on "crawling social networks like Facebook, Bebo, and LinkedIn, and aggregating the content they find around a person." The site also has the lofty goal of indexing "every person on the planet."

Adding customized Google maps to Web sites and blogs

I saw this interesting post early this morning (yes I'm still up) on Depth Reporting which discusses how Google has now created a way to embed customized maps into Web pages.

Further details can be found on Google Maps Mania, but in the meantime enjoy the cool map below that two of my colleagues created showing various central Ohio neighborhoods.

This was one quirk I found when trying to post this (or perhaps it's just the fact that I shouldn't be posting anything at 12:30 a.m.), but I wasn't able to include text along with the code for the map in the same post. When I'd save the post, only the map source code would remain and I didn't have the energy to investigate further.

Google map of where I live

View Larger Map

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The story behind the book

Madison, Wisconsin author Bryan Stanley is celebrating the publication of his first book, which he spent six years researching and writing. "The Becoming of Driftless Rivers National Park," which features several aerial photographs of Crawford County, is Stanley's effort toward earning the area a national park designation.

But Bryan Stanley is not a typical first time author. In February 1985, Stanley, "a chronic paranoid schizophrenic," was off his medication when he murdered three people inside an Onalaska church. He was tried for the crimes, found innocent by reason of mental defect and has resided ever since at the Mendota Mental Health Center in Madison. Last deemed unfit for release in 1999, next month a judge will decide if Stanley will be released back into the community.

The LaCrosse Public Library has digitized several newspaper articles from the LaCrosse Tribune which detail the murders and their aftermath and provide an excellent background to the story behind the book.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Journalist's ashes held hostage

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl is doing his part to put to rest the remains of former Milwaukee Sentinel employee Lisle Lester, whose possible ashes are being held in hock by a crematory in Queens, New York for $5,000.

The plight of Lester, who died in June 1888 with no next of kin, has been taken up by Jack Copet, a history buff and the former publications coordinator at the Fond du Lac County Historical Society. "It just keeps nagging at me. I'd want that final resting place. This poor woman never got it," Copet says. Copet contacted Stingl in the hopes that some publicity would jump start the efforts to have Lester's ashes returned to the Rienzi Cemetery in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where Lester's parents are buried.

Stingl spoke to a funeral director, as well as the spokesman for the National Funeral Directors Association, which is based in nearby Brookfield, and both were skeptical about the cost, with one saying he couldn't imagine what the crematory is charging for. There also remains the very real question of whether the ashes are truly those of Lester.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If you want the right answer, ask a librarian

So says Bill Husted in the last sentence of his recent Technobuddy column where he discusses evaluating Web resources. Thanks Bill and Cyberspastic, who pointed the article out to me.

Who's the bloggiest?

This comes as no surprise to me since my good friend j lives in Boston, but a recent survey by OutsideIn found that "Boston was the `bloggiest city' in America for the two-month period it examined, March and April."

OutsideIn's survey looks at blogging in "about 60 urban areas" and bases the rankings on a "blogging quotient" that examines an area's population in relation to the number of blog posts connected to a specific location.