Big Data Arrives on a Small Lake in Vermont

Photo: Blue-green algae bloom on Shelburne Pond. Credit: Lisa Borre.

National Geographic has a cool article on lake ecology and how big data figures into the research side of things:

While visiting Vermont in late July, I took a day to catch up with colleagues who are studying lakes. University of Vermont (UVM) Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory director Jason Stockwell arranged for me to go out on a sampling run with two interns. Our destination was Shelburne Pond, a shallow lake located about ten miles south of Burlington. The hyper-eutrophic lake was the subject of my undergraduate thesis research, “Internal Sources of Phosphorus in Shelburne Pond, Vermont.” I was interested to learn about the latest round of research there and invited college friends Jennifer Curtin and Sara Thompson to join me for the outing.

A large frontal system had moved through the day before, leaving behind a quintessential Vermont summer day: clear skies with air temperatures in the 70s. Puffy white clouds floated by. It was not unlike the day I arrived in 1985 as a geology student to collect samples and discovered that a massive fish kill had occurred the night before.

Read the rest of the article here.

Review: Proof Positive by Archer Mayor

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Seven Days has a review of Archer Mayor’s latest crime novel (which I sadly haven’t had a chance to pick up yet.)

Archer Mayor wastes no time in presenting a body, and setting up a riveting whodunit, in Proof Positive. That is the point, after all, of detective fiction, and the Newfane author gets to it with alacrity. What sets his Joe Gunther novels — this is Mayor’s 25th — apart in the crowded field of murder mysteries is their Vermont setting. Readers who happen to live in the Green Mountain State get the bonus of familiarity: with the landscape, towns, history and even, at times, the very buildings in which the stories unfold.

It looks as though it’s a typical book from Mayor, which is good: he’s maintained a fairly consistent story over the last 25 books (or two sets of consistent stories in that time). I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Non-Profit Publishing House Paves The Way For Vermont Authors

Wind Ridge Books offers writing workshops and classes here in the "Writer's Barn."

VPR has an article about non-profit publishing houses in Vermont, shortly after Seven Days covered the same topic.

Wind Ridge Books, based in Shelburne, is looking to change that. They are a small, non-profit publishing house that publishes works of Vermont authors, such as the recent novel Shape of the Sky by Shelagh Shapiro. Lin Stone, managing editor at Wind Ridge Books, wants to return to the old, romantic world of publishing. “I think if you look at publishing the way that it has grown in recent years, with the giant online people from Amazon and that model … much of the work is un-edited, it’s pasted and put together in not a professional, lovely or engaging manner. So, it’s become a cheap commodities market in many ways. And that’s not who Vermonters are. That’s not our cup of tea, if you think about the localvore movements or the artisan food movements,” Stone says.

You can listen to the full article here.

Meanwhile, Seven Days spoke with three local publishers: Wind Ridge Books, Green Writers Press and Fomite Press.

But for every scam artist, a new small publisher is struggling to survive the old-fashioned way — by making money flow to writers, not away from them. Unlike vanity or subsidy outfits, these publishers are selective and generally have a defined market niche. They seldom give writers advances, but they do offer royalty percentages unheard of in the Big Five.

The trick is selling enough copies to make those royalties count. While some literary genres sell like hotcakes online, shelf space in stores is still key to success in others. Any bookseller can order any book that has a distributor, but most will not stock a book unless the publisher permits the return of unsold copies.

Read it here.

It’ll be interesting, over the next couple of years, to see how well these publishers operate here in Vermont with their fairly unique business models. Publishing is a difficult business to work in: the margins are pretty thin. But, it seems that there’s a real demand and growth of works from Vermont authors, which is always a good thing.

Geek Things for December 19th, 2014

  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – See our homepage for format, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Teen Movie Night – The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, 5pm – 8pm, Milne Room, Aldrich Library, Barre. (Movies)
  • Holiday Classics Storytime – Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Night Before Christmas, 7:00 PM, Barnes and Noble, South Burlington. (Kids)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • FNM – Draft – Players Choice, 6:00pm, Dark Tower Gaming, St. Johnsbury. (Gaming)
  • FNM at Heroes Kingdom, 6:00pm, Heroes Kingdom, St. Albans. (Gaming)
  • Tabletop Sanctuary, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Crowe’s Nest, Randolph. (Gaming)
  • MTG:FNM Brap’s, 6:30pm, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • FNM at the Book Garden, 7:00pm, Book Garden, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Standard Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Varying Format, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Flames of War Open Play, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic: Draft, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Illuminate the Lake, 10 am-5 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Regular admission, $10.50-13.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Museums)
  • Early Bird Math, 11 am-12 pm, Richmond Free Library, Richmond. (Maths)

Geek Things for December 18th, 2014

  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • MTG @ Rutland Collectibles, Rutland Collectibles, Rutland. (Gaming)
  • After School Games – Fairlee, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Fairlee library, Fairlee. (Gaming)
  • 802MTG Randolph, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Kimball Library, Randolph. (Gaming)
  • Warmachine / Hordes, 5pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Magic EDH Casual Play, 6:00pm, Triple Play Games, Claremont. (Gaming)
  • Warmachine/Hordes Night, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • 2-Player Game Night, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Magic EDH/Commander Night, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Social Hour at the Generator, 5:30-7:30 pm, Generator, Burlington. Free; preregister; cash bar. (Tech)
  • Mount Mansfield Scale Modelers, 6:30-8:30 pm, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. (Models)

Ice Ship: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram

Charles W. Johnson is stopping by Barnes and Noble today to talk about his new book Ice Ship: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram:

Join local author Charles W. Johnson for a presentation, discussion and signing of his new book Ice Ship: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram. Thoroughly researched and with wonderful photographs this book would make a great gift!

The event will take place today at 6:00 PM.

Geek Things for December 17th, 2014

  • Technology Help, 1:15-4 pm, Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury. (Tech)
  • Book Lust for Teens, 3:30-4:30 pmat Brownell Library, Essex Junction. (Book)
  • Illuminate the Lake, 10 am-5 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Regular admission, $10.50-13.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Museum)
  • Magic: The Gathering – Draft – $12 Entry Fee, 6:30pm – 11:00pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Ice Ship: The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer Fram, 6:00 PM, Barnes and Noble, South Burlington. (Authors)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • D&D Encounters, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Game Night at Local 64, 6:30pm, Local 64, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • Board Game Day & Night, Triple Play Games, Claremont NH. (Gaming)
  • D&D Encounters, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Board Game Night, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Pokemon League, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)

Director Search: Aldrich Public Library

According to the Vermont Library Association, the Aldrich Library of Barre is seeking a new library director. Here’s the ad:

Aldrich Public Library is seeking a dynamic, visionary leader to fill the position of Library Director for the Aldrich Public Library. The library seeks a progressive, collaborative team-builder who is an experienced and committed professional with proven management and administrative skills. The successful candidate will be knowledgeable about current and emerging trends and best practices in public library services and embrace the rapid technological changes occurring in today’s public libraries.

This is a Full Time Position. The position requires a minimum of an MLS degree from an ALA accredited program or equivalent library certification; five years of library experience of which two years should be in a supervisory capacity.

A detailed job description and application process can be found at the Aldrich website http://www.aldrichpubliclibrary.org/employment/. Applications must be received by January 23, 2015.

Apply here.

Geek Mountain State on VPR

We’ve just gotten confirmation to release this: Geek Mountain State will be featured on an upcoming broadcast of VPR’s Vermont Edition! Join Andrew Liptak and authors Kristin Dearborn and Brian Staveley to talk about all things geek in Vermont next Monday (December 22nd) at noon. Mitch Wertleib will host the show.

We’re pretty excited about this: Vermont Edition is a great program, and it’ll be exciting to talk about what we do on the radio.