Cathedrals for Today

I have been in a couple of libraries recently, and have been struck over and over again by the idea that they ought to be renamed “cathedrals of learning.” They are a kind of sacred space, which accomplish something not just by providing particular services or materials, but by being a quiet place set apart [Read More...]

How Did Luther Die?

I was asked recently how Luther died, and wanted to fact-check what I thought the answer to that question was. So I did what anyone would do – I typed the question in on Google. Here is the top part of the result: Am I the only one surprised that a question about “Luther” gives top [Read More...]

Do You Know How To Hovind?

Everyone knows that you can Google. Did you know that you can also Hovind? Notorious charlatan and tax evader Kent Hovind is fairly well known. But his son Eric has followed in his father’s footsteps (with respect to his anti-science stance, not with respect to tax evasion), and has created as search engine that allows [Read More...]

Was Peter…?

I asked students whether Peter (as in the apostle) was married. Some decided to Google it. What they discovered is that most people who start their inquiry with “Was Peter” are not interested in the apostle and whether he was married. Here are the autocomplete suggestions: On the question of whether Peter was married, Google [Read More...]

The Four Most Popular Religions to Convert to, according to Google

Via The Poke   [Read more...]

Thanks, Google

A student pointed out to me that, if you ask Google “Who wrote the Pentateuch?” you get the answer, in big, bold letters, “Moses.” I decided to click the “feedback” button and indicate that this is incorrect. Here’s what I wrote as explanation for why I thought so: There has been extensive research on this [Read More...]

THE James McGrath

My friend and colleague Chad Bauman mentioned on Facebook about someone else who shares his name, but who has chosen – how shall I put it? – a different path in life. Out of curiosity, I checked to see what would happen if I typed in my name, with no added middle initial or other [Read More...]

All-Time Least Popular Posts!

I got the idea from Fred Clark. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Patheos, we were asked to list our top posts. But everyone does that, and so it seems so uninteresting – especially when a list of the most popular posts on this blog are always visible in the sidebar. And so I thought [Read More...]

Saddest Search of the Internet Age

One of the reasons I focus so much attention on information literacy skills, and require students to not merely say “I found it on JSTOR,” is that it is important to know how to cope without resources that we normally rely on. The best example of this in our time is relying on Googling for [Read More...]

Is the Internet a Library?

The meme image above has been circulating a lot lately. It reminded me of a discussion I had a couple of years ago about the difference between the internet and a library. The former is a disorganized jumble of information. What it lacks is curation. Search results, whether in a card catalogue or a browser [Read More...]

Old Jerusalem on Google Maps Street View

I was struck to discover how much of not merely the city of Jerusalem, but even the old city of Jerusalem, can be explored on Google Maps’ street view. Click through and enjoy!   [Read more...]


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