New Austin main library

J and I visited my family in Austin for Thanksgiving. One of the cool things we did was visit the new main public library! The opening was overdue by about a year, but the building and landscaping are pretty awesome.

The building is at the intersection of one of Austin’s major creeks and the river in the middle of the city, so it gets some very nice views and hopefully a lot of business!

The front.
The back and side, looking from a new bridge that goes over the nearby creek. That lowered sidewalk goes along the creek for a ways.
A view from the roof of the library, looking south across the river and over to the Long Center and the Palmer Event Center.

The library has an awesome rooftop garden à la green roof and a solar panel array as an awning to provide shade (sadly, I don’t have pictures). There is also a screened porch, so that you can enjoy the weather, but the mosquitoes can’t enjoy you!

Looking down in the central ‘shaft’ of the library. That art clock features grackles, a local menace that, much like corvids, survives very well on human refuse.
Looking up into the central shaft. The staircases and bridges are very Hogwarts-esque. The stairs and floors of the building are much too creaky for my tastes. They feel like they’re going to collapse one day…
Weird street art that we saw nearby :S

Keeping track of the books I read

I made a Goodreads account to keep track of books I read that are relevant to this blog. If you want to see what I’ve read and what I want to read, take a look at my profile.

Goodreads is a website that allows you to rate, review, and track books you’ve read. There’s enough detail for you to track how far you are through a book (60% or 70%?) and when you started and finished a book. The reviews are quite thoughtful and helpful when choosing a new book to read. Check it out!

Garbology Book Review

I recently finished Garbology by Edward Humes. Basically, it talks about some interesting stuff, but has problems staying on topic. The book jumps back and forth as if it forgot to add some important detail before. The different sections don’t connect well and don’t build on each other. The author never really reaches a conclusion (what are we supposed to do about this problem?).

Additionally, the author doesn’t use that many citations (certainly much fewer than I expected, considering how many claims he makes), and I saw one incorrect statistic which made me doubt the veracity of the others.

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