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Paul R. Pival
Calgary, AB
Recent Activity
Last month, I posted about how a patron request prompted me to collect the historical COVID-19 R-values for Alberta. That data is available on a public Google Sheet, but I had meant to throw up a chart as well. The... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Distant Librarian
Apparently parts of this have been around for a couple of years, but it just came on my radar last week with this blog post. Did you know that Excel can do lookups from providers like Wolfram, Bing, and Power... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
Filed under stuff no citizen should have to do, today I went through pages archived by the Wayback Machine in order to provide a patron with historical R-Value data for COVID-19 for the Province of Alberta. This information is updated... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
The Data Journalism Handbook has been updated from its original 2012 edition, and is available to purchase or for free download from the publisher. When I first tweeted about this a month ago, @Gersart wondered who was responsible for the... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
Google just announced what they're calling Google Earth’s biggest update in years. With Timelapse in Google Earth, 24 million satellite photos from the past 37 years have been compiled into an interactive 4D experience. Now anyone can watch time unfold... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
Just a couple of quick updates. First, in December, I posted about my initial experience with Alberta's new(?) FOIP process. And then I actually submitted that request on January 26. So the fact that I was never notified that my... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
Well that was a sobering read. A few weeks ago the following post by Barbara Fister was circulated at MPOW: Lizard People in the Library. We were supposed to have a discussion about it, but I wasn't able to make... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
Here's a good article from the University of Alberta student newspaper: Queering Zoom: students and educators say online learning must be more inclusive. A couple of points and counterpoints: While professors often include anti-harassment and inclusionary policies in their syllabus,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
Well this seems like good news. One of the biggest annoyances of trying to do research on Twitter, IMHO, is the difficulty in obtaining older tweets. There are workarounds, such as using a previously-captured dataset from Documenting the Now, or... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2021 at The Distant Librarian
On December 8, I noticed the Govt. of Al... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
For a meeting last week at MPOW we were asked to read Algorithms of Oppression, by Safiya Umoja Noble. As a cis, white male, I found it a good reminder of a lot of stuff I am vaguely aware of,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
Thank goodness I haven't personally experienced this while teaching / presenting via Zoom, but I have been a participant in a workshop that was Zoom bombed, and that was traumatic enough. I can't even imagine how nasty that would be... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
Not my original post, but Zapier has a post looking at the best screen recording software in 2020. Definitely useful if you're prepping for online delivery in the months to come! Plenty of choices for Windows, macOS, and even mobile,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
Every few months I get an email from someone looking for some help with the Hydrator tool I wrote about back in 2017. Hydrator is a simple tool to rehydrate twitter ids into full tweets. From the Hydrator GitHub page,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
Earlier this week I was trying to help a student find CO2 emissions data for Alberta going back to 1985, and have so far been unsuccessful. According to the Canadian Greenhouse Gas Measurement Program, measurements began in 1975, at least... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
Just had the pleasure of upgrading to the latest version of Creative Cloud at MPOW, and while it appeared to go smoothly I immediately had a problem with my workflow. Importing an image (jpg) into Photoshop would only show a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
I saw this post on BoingBoing earlier today: A fascinating map of the most spoken languages in every US state besides English and Spanish and wondered what an equivalent map for Canada might look like. So I made one. Data... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
The Zapier newsletter I just got had a link to this article from last year: How to Find the RSS Feed URL for Almost Any Site. It's got some good tips for sussing out RSS feeds, but I have a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
Last September I learned about a fabulous resource called Places of Residence for Accused Witches. Map of Scots women accused of witchcraft published for first time ht @ResearchBuzz Fascinating stuff! #GIS #witches #witchcraft #mapping (@ppival) September 26, 2019... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2020 at The Distant Librarian
I've recently become more involved in a project to digitize historical maps held at the U of Calgary, so this article really spoke to me (thanks @achurrell!) Yukon geologists raid the archives to aid ongoing search for gold. And because... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at The Distant Librarian
I just added the Available Reads browser extension, and really like the feature to sort my Goodreads titles by availability on Overdrive. But for even more information on additional sites (like Amazon), Library Extension still takes the cake. Some screen... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2019 at The Distant Librarian
I first posted about this issue just over a year ago, A disturbing story on academic freedom and predatory publishing, and now it appears to have reached a conclusion, with the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) releasing a 30-page... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2019 at The Distant Librarian
I got tired of there not being an RSS feed for the Statistics Canada Infographics page, so I made one. You can use it too! Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2019 at The Distant Librarian
A couple of weeks ago I read an excellent article, Research and Indigenous Librarianship in Canada, and I'd like to recommend it to you. I think it's more about understanding the implications of undergoing research with or about Indigenous Peoples... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at The Distant Librarian
Sci-Hub popped up a couple of times today, along with a link to a tool I hadn't seen before. Tools to liberate scholarly articles, help sources understand journalism and publish printable online zines. Mentioning the existence to journalists They Know... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at The Distant Librarian