All posts by Linda Daniel

Want to learn a new language or brush up on your skills?

Duke University Libraries is please to offer several new language learning tools. Find lots of resources for over 25 languages at

Duke faculty, students, and staff can now access Byki Online, an online language instruction resource. This new subscription to Byki Online gives users free access to flash cards, blogs, and other tools to help you learn or revisit more than 70 languages.

Sign up for your own Byki Online account to prepare for your research, study, and travel plans this summer.

Exploring Durham this Weekend?

As a Durham native, I know there are lots of interesting places where you can eat or relax after a busy week at work. Here are just a few blogs worth checking out, if you are looking for ideas:

Carpe Durham: Ramblings about food by people whose only qualification is eating a lot

Endangered Durham: Land use, architecture, history, and sustainable development

Bull City Rising: Musings, reflections, and general gossip

Durham Socialite: Durham’s source for social events

Please feel free to suggest other favorites.

Backing Up Your Cloud

Computer users often have ways to backup their computer files but, if you use a number of cloud-based services, you should also think about developing a strategy for backing up your cloud data.

Hopefully, you won’t need the backup but we all know that problems with data storage can cause headaches: servers and internet access can go down and internet companies can have policies that change your access to your files.

Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs, recently wrote, “I woke up this morning in Montreal to find that my access to my Google accounts has been temporarily disabled due to a ‘perceived violation of either the Google Terms of Service or product-specific Terms of Service.'” So, if you rely on such services as Gmail, Google Docs, and Flickr, you should think about a backup plan.

PC Magazine has a good article, “Back Up or Else” that discusses different methods and strategies you can use to back up your cloud. They also give “best practices” to get you started. Here are a few suggestions taken from Natalie Houston, “How to Back Up Your Cloud“:

Backup Your Photos
If you use Flickr to archive or display your photos, you may already have your photos backed up on your hard drive. But, if you upload photos directly from your computer or camera to Flickr, you may want to check out FlickrEdit, an open source program that allows you to download, backup, or upload your photos to and from Flickr.

Backup Your Gmail
The mail program Thunderbird is a simple and free way to backup your Gmail. Thunderbird is a mail program that collects and stores copies of your Gmail messages. Messages are stored in a simple text file so they are easy to access.

Backup Your Google Docs
GDocBackup, a free and open source utility, can be used to backup all your Google Documents to a local disk. It backs up those documents not found on your hard drive or with a different date.

Other Ways to Backup Your Cloud?
If you know other tools to use to backup cloud data, please post them as comments. I’m sure others would like to hear your suggestions. Thanks!

Twitter as History

The Library of Congress announced that it has acquired and will archive every public tweet since Twitter’s service started in 2006. That’s more than 50 million tweets per day. Twitter declared, “[it is] very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history.”

Notable tweets include:
Obama’s tweet when he won the 2008 election: and the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey:

The Twitter archive joins the Library’s Web capture project that already has stored 167 terabytes of digital material.

There are some limitations. Personal tweets will not be collected and the Twitter archive will be available only for scholarly and research purposes.

Google doesn’t think you should have to wait for the Library of Congress to make archival tweets available—it’s turning on a feature that lets you choose a date and “replay” the tweets from that point on. Google’s search combines Twitter updates with those from MySpace, Facebook and Buzz.

Sociology Resources Online

Duke users now have access to the sociology research database SocINDEX with Full Text. This new subscription provides comprehensive coverage of sociology resources, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study.

SocINDEX with Full Text features more than 2,066,400 records; extensive indexing for books/monographs, conference papers, and other non-periodical sources; abstracts for more than 1,200 “core” coverage journals dating as far back as 1895; and provides cited references that can also be searched.

SocINDEX with Full Text offers coverage for topics including: abortion, anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, social work, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, violence, welfare, and many others.

In addition, SocINDEX with Full Text features over 25,000 author profiles. Each profile includes contact information, journals of publication, and author’s areas of expertise and professional focus.

SocINDEX with Full Text is a great resource for your sociology research.

Soccer in a Global Context

The World Cup will be played in South Africa in the summer of 2010 and important soccer matches are being played around the globe this fall to determine the thirty-two countries that will qualify for the tournament. To prepare you for these games, several books are available in the Duke Libraries on the subject of soccer and its global importance.

Foer's book
In Franklin Foer’s book, How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, soccer is described as part of the economic, political, and cultural fabric of society. In a series of essays, Foer explores the cultural roots of fierce soccer rivalries around the world, rivalries that make battles between Duke and Carolina or the Red Sox and the Yankees look tepid. Matches between the Rangers and Celtic in Glasgow reflect the divide between the Protestant Rangers supporters and the Catholic Celtics and has roots in conflicts that date back to the Reformation. Matches between Barcelona and Madrid in Spain are recreations of the Spanish Civil War. Foer examines soccer as a liberalizing force in Iran and as a destructive force in Serbia, where soccer hooligans were used as death squads in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. Although Foer does not, as his title suggests, provide a unifying theory of soccer and globalization, this book is a fascinating study of soccer in its cultural context and provides vivid examples of how national conflicts are reflected in the game of soccer.

Thinking Man's GuideThe Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey, provides essays about each of the thirty two countries that qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Each essay presents a short summary of the soccer history of the country and how each team qualified for the tournament, and places soccer in the context of that country’s culture and politics. Examples include the importance of qualification to war-ravaged Angola, the impact of globalization on the English economy, and the relationship between jihad and soccer in Saudi Arabia. Although the 2006 World Cup is in the past, the profiles of each country are fascinating and informative, and deepen one’s understanding of the world and its relationship to the world’s most popular sport.

Long Distance Love

Grant Farred, a Duke University faculty member, traces his passion for Liverpool football from his early years in apartheid South Africa in his book, Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football. He explores the cultural context of soccer around the world. Farred provides a shocking history of how Argentina’s military junta used the success of the Argentinean team to cover its ruthless oppression of dissent. Farred brings an obvious passion for world football and the Liverpool team as a lens to examine the global struggle for freedom. Although American readers will not be familiar with many of the events and players that are important in the history of Liverpool football, the reader is swept along by the force of Farred’s narrative and the deeply personal nature of his writing.

There are interesting films and discussions being held on campus this fall in conjunction with Professor Laurent Dubois’ course, “World Cup and World Politics.” A series of films about soccer are free and open to the general public. Lilian Thuram, Caribbean-born French soccer player, activist and writer, will share his thoughts on sport, racism, and immigration as well as discussing the work of his new foundation. The talk will take place at the Nasher Art Museum on Nov. 10 at 7:00 pm. More information at

Photo Credit: Anthony Bidard/FEP