Friday, December 30, 2011

Analogy of a Cache

For those of you who are tech challenged--from one of my favorite tech geeks. Enjoy

It's Analogy Time: How Caches Work
Caches are pretty simple to understand. Let's say you're running a library with thousands of books and thousands of users. Allowing everyone to roam freely would create a traffic nightmare so you make all requests for books go through your help desk. A customer approaches the desk, tells your employee what book they want, and your employee runs to grab the book. This happens for each request. The time it takes your employee to return with a book after receiving a request from a customer is your service time and it's a value that you want to keep as low as possible in order to prevent you losing your customers to another library.

Over time your employee may notice that certain books are frequently requested. A smart employee would decide to have copies of these books at the help desk, to more quickly service those requests. With a large enough desk, your employee could likely accommodate a good percentage of the requests that come by. At the end of the day, doing so would lower your service time and allow you to serve more customers. Requesting a book not located at the help desk would still take the same amount of time.

If reading patterns change over time, your employee could adapt. Assuming there's a finite amount of space at the help desk, books that are no longer as frequently read as they once were could be evicted from the desk and replaced with more popular titles.

The library I've described above is an example of a cache. The books are of course data, the customers are instructions and the help desk is the cache itself. Data that's accessed more frequently is stored in the cache and as access patterns change, so does the data in the cache.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rikers High by Volponi

Martin Stokes is known as "Forty" at Rikers Island. He is no longer a teenage boy, going to school,
hanging out with his boys, living his life. He is a prisoner at a New York correctional facility, known by
his bed number, Forty. After being arrested for what seemed like an trivial charge, Martin is trapped
in the system for months, and he is counting down the days until his trial. Martin's face is slashed with a razor on the way back from a disappointing court appearance, and he is tortured with the fact that the scars will serve as a constant reminder of his time at Rikers. The scars will tell his story before he has a chance to.

Rikers High is rich with vivid detail about the daily life in Sprung #3, the section of the jail that houses the
juvenile offenders. Brutal corrections officers, unfair strip searches, prowling gangs, and a
constant sense of fear and unease fill Martin's final days at Rikers. There is one bright spot in Martin's life -- the part of the day when he is allowed to attend high school classes within the jail. For a brief time, he no longer feels like a criminal, but more like the person he was before he made
his biggest mistake. Mr. Demarco, one of the teachers inside the jail, treats Martin like a student
instead of a prisoner -- with respect and dignity. He gives Martin the hope that when he gets out, he
WILL make something of himself.

Paul Volponi is an amazing writer, and this story feels painfully realistic. Read this if you enjoy
gritty, urban fiction with a heart.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fashion Designers Sketch Katniss's Fire Dress!

NOVEMBER 30, 2011
“I am dressed in what will either be the most sensational or the deadliest costume in the opening ceremonies. I’m in a simple black unitard that covers me from ankle to neck. Shiny leather boots lace up to my knees. But it’s the fluttering cape made of streams of orange, yellow, and red and the matching headpiece that define this costume. Cinna plans to light them on fire just before our chariot rolls into the streets.” —Katniss in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Ever since The Hunger Games started filming, we’ve been dying for a sneak peek of Katniss Everdeen’s fire dress. The look epitomizes the heroine’s transformation from woodsy tomboy to showstopping woman full of fire—something her stylist Cinna meant intentionally. We reached out to some of our favorite designers to see how they envision this pivotal moment—click through the gallery to see their interpretations now.,,20542054_20549206,00.html?xid=people-dec2011-hunger-games-fire-dress

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Buzz About 21st Century Libraries--Virtual Panel Discussion

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone to be a movie!!

Paramount Plans Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Source: Deadline , Laini Taylor

December 1, 2011

Paramount Pictures is planning an adaptation of Laini Taylor's fantasy novel, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Deadline reports. Planned as a trilogy, the first book was released this past September and is officially described on Taylor's site as follows:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Nothing is official as of yet, but the studio is likely eyeing Taylor's novel as a potential franchise.

Read more: Paramount Plans Daughter of Smoke and Bone -

Dotti Enderle

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Got Gingerbread?

The Library Gingerbread Man / Gingerbread Man Superhero!

Two tasty picture books perfect for the holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another Book to Movie--Divergent

"Harry Potter" is over -- probably forever. "The Twilight Saga" is drawing its second-to-last breaths in the box office and, while "The Hunger Games" hasn't yet hit theaters, March will be here and gone before we know it.

What's a YA-meets-movies fan supposed to do?

Derive comfort from Veronica Roth's deal with Summit, that's what. The studio that brought "Twilight" to life snapped up the rights to her debut novel "Divergent" last March, and with "Snow White and the Huntsman" writer Evan Daugherty tackling the adaptation, we're more excited than ever to see Roth's chilling vision of the future on the big screen.

In honor of Dystopian Week — an online celebration we're having with our friends at theFABlife and Hollywood Crush — we talked to Ms. Roth and got the scoop on her plans for "Divergent" the movie, her casting wishes and whether she'd like to show up in cameos, a la Stephenie Meyer. (We should mention that we once mistook the 22-year-old author for a movie star at a Summit party so... yes please, cameo.)

People inevitably will make comparisons to Stephenie Meyer, since you're both YA novelists signed to Summit. She's producing her first film now -- are you planning to be Meyer-level involved in the making of "Divergent?"
Not really. At least, I haven’t really been involved with it for very long, so it's hard to say. But I really just love books and I never really watch movies. I'm more into the slow, sort of meditative process and movies are like bam-bam! Bam-bam-bam! So I don't know if it's really the place for me. I don't know, it's been really fun to see "Twilight" from the inside, but I'm really just observing, I'm not really involved.

How about casting? The studio has the final say, but are you hoping for anyone in particular?
I really don't know — when it comes to movies, I kind of like to see unknown people. Not faces that have been everywhere, so that would be my dream cast, I guess. Really talented but not really known.

The first book was optioned before you started writing the final two books of the trilogy. Has knowing you'll be seeing these characters in the flesh altered your path? Have you started writing more cinematically?
You know, I think that's how I write naturally. I think we sometimes imagine what it looks like and all the surroundings — all the things people think about when they're filming a movie, and then I just write it down, so nothing has really changed, not really. I think it would be different if they cast people while I was writing, because then I wouldn't be able to separate them in my mind but, right now, it's still all my imagination.

I think it wouldn't be terrible, but I'd rather keep them the way they are and not yet what's happening in the real world. Just what's happening in my fake world.
Veronica Roth

Meyer has cameos in a few of the "Twilight" films. Is that something you want or something you'd actively avoid?
I wouldn't say no. I think it would be so fun. And it's not an experience you think you're ever going to have. So, yeah, I'd like that. But I'm not like, "I must have one!"

I'd like to be one of the Dauntless trying to jump on the train. Or I guess... off the train. That would be fun. I don't think they'd let me do that, because I'm uncoordinated and have poor balance.

That train-jumping scene is pretty brutal. Your book, "The Hunger Games" and some others — they're not for the faint of heart. What defines YA books and movies these days? It is simply the age of the protagonists?
Partially, it's themes. If I have more adult themes in the book, and the protagonist was young and the voice was old, it might be an adult book. But these themes are intensely adolescent, it's having to define yourself and not knowing if you can, especially at such a young age, and I think that's very teen concern. It certainly was my concern when I was a teen.

I think it's mostly about the protagonist and the themes but not so much about the content anymore. It used to be, you'd kind of have to censor yourself if you were writing young adult, but I don't really think that's the case at all these days.