Bookshare to be featured on CBS News

I made previous reference to Bookshare, a service that allows individuals with print disabilities to scan and share printed books under an exception made in the U.S. copyright law. According to the home page for Bookshare, the CBS Evening News will feature the organization on Thursday 2/22.


The CBS Evening News will profile as part of its “American Spirit” series. The segment is part of a collection of stories about effective and scalable solutions to social needs.


My Kingdom for an Accessible Bracket

March isn’t here quite yet, but with the Wisconsin Badgers doing so well in basketball this not so young man’s fancy is already turning to March madness. My annual quest for a quality accessible NCAA bracket experience is already starting.


Each year I hunt around on various web sites trying version after version of the NCAA bracket. Some are complex web forms that get confusing with a screen reader. Others, and what seems to be the majority here, are PDF documents that are basically incomprehensible with a screen reader.


So here’s hoping the Badger hoopsters make it through their bracket unscathed and that I can actually predict their progress with an accessible experience.

Vocabulary School

Every once in a while a phrase I hear in conversation catches my attention. It tends to be something that someone else will use as if it is something everyone is using as a part of regular vocabulary. Over the past two weeks a couple of phrases have captured my imagination because I’d personally not heard them and quite frankly had to seek out their definitions.


One evening Aimee was explaining some frustrations with an event at work and said, “I felt like they were gaslighting me.”


“Gaslighting?” I had to ask for clarification.


It turns out that gaslighting is a term which basically means to mess with someone’s mind by denying reality or twisting facts or the environment slowly over time to confuse someone.


The way the phrase was used it was as if it was something we all should know. I was curious so investigated a bit.


The mystery was solved when Aimee mentioned that Steely Dan, a band that is one of her top favorites, has a tune that uses gaslighting in the title.


The second phrase to catch my curiosity happened while attending some training at work. Someone mentioned that they thought the event had “jumped the shark”. Next I saw the same phrase used in three different e-mails. I figured the meaning of this phrase from context for the most part but it was still interesting to search out the definition and origin. I guess I’m not up on my pop culture.


As for the definition of jump the shark, let’s just say that a blog post on what words I find interesting is likely jumping already.

Flag Crossing

Interesting what you find out is in your own backyard.  Kirkland is quite literally just down the road from me and here’s an interesting idea on what that city’s doing with pedestrian safety.

What began as an experiment at five intersections with no signals downtown in 1996 has grown to 47 throughout the city. Pedestrians can pick up a flag in a stand, wave it while crossing the street, then deposit it at a stand on the other side.