Date:         Fri, 19 May 2000 01:24:45 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen

From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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                TOURBUS Volume 5, Number 93 -- 18 May 2000
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    Bartleby / Voodoo Science
Howdy, y'all, and greetings from Tuscaloosa, Alabama!
I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that I have
been admitted to the Online Masters program in Educational Technology
at Pepperdine (YAY!).  The bad news is that one of the requirements of
my admission is that I have to attend a one-week orientation at
Pepperdine's Malibu, California, campus at the end of July.  Malibu in
July.  Shucks.  :P
By the way, even though I am now a poor grad student, I will still be
driving our little bus of Internet happiness for a long while to come.
Grad school or not, y'all are stuck with me!
TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  I thank
the folks at "The Pocket Internet," "ZixMail," and "McHari Institute"
for making today's post possible.  As always, please visit our
wonderful sponsors and thank them for keeping the bus rolling!
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On with the show ...
About five years ago, we visited a site at Columbia University called
"Project Bartleby."  Named after Herman Melville's short story
"Bartleby, The Scrivener," Project Bartleby was yet another online
library.  What made Project Bartleby special, though, was that it was
one of the first online libraries to fully embrace the Web.  Each
chapter of its books were individual Web pages with hyperlinks from
chapter to chapter.  This is pretty standard today, but back in 1995
it was rather new (or at least it was rather new to ME!).
My only complaint about Project Bartleby back then was that its
shelves were pretty bare -- the site only offered 11 books that you
could read online.
What a difference 5 years makes!  I visited Project Bartleby a few
days ago and discovered that not only does the project have a new Web
site, it contains a heck of a lot more online books, including --
brace yourself -- the 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of
William Shakespeare!  WOW!
You can find Project Bartleby -- now named, simply, "" --
on the Web at .
Bartleby claims that it is the "most comprehensive public reference
library ever published on the web."  I couldn't agree more.  The site
has four sections, and the books that are available, online, in each
of these sections is mind-boggling:
      1. Reference ( )
         Included in this section is the Cambridge History of English &
         American Literature (all 18 volumes), H.L. Mencken's "The
         American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English
         in the United States," Thomas Bulfinch's "The Age of Fable,"
         Fannie Farmer's "The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book," and
         *MANY* more.
      2. Verse ( ).
         This section includes anthologies such as "The Oxford Book of
         English Verse" and "Yale Book of American Verse" as well as
         volumes of works by Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost,
         A.E. Housman, John Keats, D.H. Lawrence, Carl Sandburg, and
         DOZENS of others.
      3. Fiction ( )
         You can explore this one on your own, but suffice it to say
         that Bartleby's fiction section includes works from F. Scott
         Fitzgerald, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sinclair Lewis, Herman
         Melville (but of course!), and even Virginia Woolf (who
         frightens me).
      4. Nonfiction ( )
         This section contains some of the seminal works in history,
         from John Stuart Mill's "On Libery" and Thomas Paine's "Common
         Sense" to Booker T. Washington's "Up from Slavery" and Albert
         Einstein's "Relativity."  The nonfiction section also includes
         the complete inaugural addresses of every US President from
         George Washington to Bill Clinton (and I am not ashamed to
         admit that, despite the fact that I am one of the burliest
         guys you will ever meet, Lincoln's Second Inaugural still
         brings tears to my eyes.  THAT MAN COULD *WRITE*!).
By the way, you can find the 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works
of William Shakespeare in the Verse and Fiction sections, or you can
just point your Web browser to .
As I said earlier, what a difference 5 years makes. is
truly the most comprehensive public reference library ever published
on the Web.  If you are a college student who is just now starting to
write those english term papers that were due back in February, both
Bartlett's "Familiar Quotations" (man, Bartlett sure did say a lot of
familiar stuff) and Strunk's "The Elements of Style" are going to come
in handy.  If you are looking for proof that men have NEVER asked for
directions, the story of Odysseus (in Homer's Oddysseys) should pretty
much nail that one down tight.  And, if you know anyone who says "I
would prefer not to" a lot, Melville's short story "Bartleby" is for
you :)
Voodoo Science
I mentioned this in a recent TOURBUS Plus post, but I thought you
might like to see this too.  A few months ago, while at a wedding in
Toledo, I spotted a full page USA Today ad for what appeared to be a
perpetual motion machine.  The add used a bunch of gobbledygook --
like mentioning the little-known FOURTH law of thermodynamics
(*giggle*) -- in an attempt to convince people to attend an upcoming
seminar in their hometown.
What made the ad even more amusing was that the people I was hanging
out with at the wedding all held engineering degrees from Purdue.
 From what the group could gather from the ad, the mysterious fourth
law is "a fool and his money are soon parted."
Well, Robert Park, a physics professor at the University of Maryland,
has just released a WONDERFUL, easy-to-read book titled "Voodoo
Science" that exposes the "foolish and fraudulent science that swirls
around us."  Forbes Magazine recently published some excerpts from the
book, and you can find those excerpts on the Web, for free, at 
and .
Even if you don't decide to order the book, the excerpts are a fun
read.  :)
Future TOURBUS Topic: Furniture
I really want to write a TOURBUS post about how you can buy furniture
on the Web, but I have absolutely no idea where to begin.  Can you
recommend any Web sites that sell high quality furniture -- Henredon,
Hooker, Henkel Harris, and so on -- at wholesale prices?  I know that
there are a BUNCH of furniture sites out there, but I am particularly
interested in:
      1. Furniture sites that *YOU* have purchased from in the past and
         would like to recommend to others;
      2. Sites that sell high-quality, name brand furniture -- the
         stuff that costs squillions of dollars if you paid retail; and
      3. Sites that can drop ship their furniture anywhere in the world
         -- in other words, sites that EVERYONE on our little bus of
         Internet happiness can use.
Any suggestions?
That's it for this week.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll
talk again next Thursday.  :)
    Bartleby / Voodoo Science
HOE (noun).  An opening or pit.
Usage: "My brother from Jawjuh drove my pickup into a big ol hoe"
[Special thanks go to W. Mark Hilton for today's word]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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TOURBUS - 18 MAY 00 - BARTLEBY  /  VOODOO SCIENCE, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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