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The Batman Effect

Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Hamilton College studied work perseverance in four and six year olds and found that those kids pretending to be superheroes (loosely defined as Batman, Bob the Builder, Rapunzel and Dora the Explorer) worked more than those who were asked to think of themselves in the first person or those who were just being “me” (World Economic Forum, 12.4.17).

Makes sense. I’d be a much better librarian if I could imagine myself to be Bunny Watson in Desk Set or Sydney Bristow in Alias or yes, even and especially, Wonder Woman.

The Cancer Post

Not so bad, this one.

Just saw this article, er comic, on Vox – “I had cancer. This comic shows how much pressure I felt to be a hero.” It’s about pervasive cancer culture and how it makes it even tougher to fit in and to fight the disease. Even that word “fight” becomes laden with misconceptions. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I do like the use of the word “survivor.”

This week, too, NPR tells us, “Cancer Is Partly Caused By Bad Luck, Study Finds.” I can’t help but be drawn to these headlines even though I’m not sure exactly what to do with them.

All in a week’s work of surviving.

Hanging Around

“I think journalists could learn a lot from hanging around with successful librarians.”

Youth Sports Injuries

Interesting article, “Soccer-related ER visits soaring among U.S. youth players” (The Washington Post, 9.12.16). Statistics comparing sports and trends are included.

The article also makes the point that some of the injuries are due to so many more kids at so many different skill levels and development stages trying the sport. So as tough as it is to see so many levels from recreation to uber-competitive traveling teams, it makes sense to have kids play with and against other kids at their skill level.

I will try to keep that in mind when my kids go through evaluations and try-outs for their sports of choice.



Really interesting article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal about brands reacting right away to Prince’s passing.

Brands mark Prince’s death with tweets, and hit a few sour notes.


I don’t know that I am bothered by any of these, especially those included here from MN brands, but those companies with an even deeper connection are getting – as the article states – a warmer reception.

One that really works – Chevy’s “Little Red Corvette.” Check out Adweek’s take here.


Amen, Adam Wainwright

I agree with your tweet and I wish you could have beat the Cubs!

I’d love it if ads like those from Latuda with all of the scary side effects wouldn’t run during American Idol (and other kid-attractive programming) either.

Did you know? … Shift Happens

Every year I teach the intro to reference/access services class to library science students, I end the first class by showing a video from the “Did you know?” series. I used to tear up as I thought they were such a powerful way to show the power of information.

I now keep my emotions in check. Partly because there are so many amazing videos I could choose from now to illustrate the same point. Partly because the series has shifted from an education to a media focus. But I still think it’s powerful.

Check out the latest:

Did You Know? Shift Happens, 2014 Remix

The original Did You Know/Shift Happens content and video comes from work done by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod for a faculty meeting in 2006. See this wikispace for early history. Here is the original video.

There have been other take offs done in between, but what I love about the original and the remix is that the sources are provided.