Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Google Books : Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian, China's Literary Wild Child : Sex Drugs Rock & Roll

Everybody is now getting into the act of suing search engines for including scanned excerpts of their books in search results. See, for example:

BBC News - Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian

My own book, Stars, Stones and Scholars is found at Google Books and I am very pleased about it, since it makes that book much more accessible to millions of potential readers. Indeed, links are offered to major online booksellers where the book can be purchased. Below is a scan of the front cover website page at Google Books of Stars Stones and Scholars by Andis Kaulins:


People who are interested in the book's amazing subject matter buy the book.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tom Osborne, Beyond The Final Score: There's More to Life Than the Game – Family, Mentoring, Leadership, Serving (a book review by Andis Kaulins)

The legendary Nebraska Cornhuskers football head coach Tom Osborne was a three-time representative in Congress from Nebraska's 3rd congressional district. We guarantee you a smile if you look at this map of that district. Well, OK, it is not ALL of the state.... I wonder how many - or few - of Osborne's colleagues in Congress knew that? It is one of the largest congressional districts in the nation.

Now, on to the book.

Did you know that it takes at least 5 positive comments for every 1 negative comment in a family environment for a healthy family environment to be maintained? and at least 3 positive comments to 1 negative comment to maintain a healthy work environment? and that a simple 1 to 1 balance of positive and negative comments is on the road to separation and divorce in a partnership?

That a positive balance of comments is critical would appear to be self-understood, but that the ratio must be so high is a revelation. That astonishing piece of information is cited in Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game, a truly remarkable book of wisdom by the legendary football coach Tom Osborne, published by Regal Books of Gospel Light, a not-for-profit Christian ministry.

Although the book emphasizes service to God as a guiding personal light, the principles presented are universal and equally applicable to all of us. As Osborne writes:
"Please don't get the idea that I was some kind of religious nut. I was simply trying to apply principles of faith in a highly competitive arena... [My] approach to leadership and team building is related to my faith. I believe that each and every person should be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve." [emphasis added]
For Tom Osborne, that has been a fantastically successful philosophy.



The cover of my review copy of Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game carries a quotation - not seen above - from Warren Buffett, probably the world's most successful investor, stating: "Tom Osborne improves the lives of everyone he encounters."

If Osborne's book has one definable purpose, then that is the purpose it surely serves. This book can improve your life. It has already improved mine, and I am simply reviewing the book.

It is a rare football coach who would begin the first chapter of his book with a quotation by Mark Twain, author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and known affectionately as the "father" of American literature. Osborne quotes Twain:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Right from the start of Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game, the reader of Osborne's book is thus aware that this is not simply a personal collection of memoirs, but rather a potentially valuable work of wisdom for everyone, written by three-time congressman Osborne, who is not only famous as the former head football coach at Nebraska but is also a respected leadership educator, who at age 72 presently serves as the Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

When Tom Osborne (pronounced OZ-burn) retired in 1997 as head football coach of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, "Oz" was his own legend, having won at least nine games in every coaching season and having compiled the then best winning percentage among active Division I-A coaches for a 255-49-3 won-loss record. In his last game as Husker head coach in the 1998 FedEx Orange Bowl, the Huskers won the national championship in the coaches poll, beating Tennessee and Peyton Manning, 42-17.

Indeed, Tom Osborne had gotten better as the years went by, winning 60 games and losing only 3 in his last five seasons, while winning three national championships (1994, 1995, and 1997). In fact, ESPN fans in 2006 rated his 1995 Husker team the best college football team of all time. That same Number 1 rank was assigned to the unbeaten 1995 team in 2005 by Sports Illustrated viz. CBS and Sagarin and in 2001 to the football program as a whole by scout.com. An amazing thirty-three of the players on the Husker's 1995 roster went on to play professional or semi-pro football.

ESPN named Osborne coach of the decade in 1999 and an ESPN poll in 2007 voted Osborne the greatest college football coach of all time. Such accolades are of course always subjective, but, whether you agree or disagree, they do reflect a level of achievement that is outstanding.

But how many football or other fans know the true story of how Osborne became a Nebraska assistant coach to begin with. Osborne relates the story in his book Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game (pp. 182-183):
"When I asked Bob Devaney if I could join his coaching staff, he told me that he had no positions open. However, he said that if I wanted to do so, I could move into an undergraduate dorm with seven or eight players who were causing trouble. If I had success with them Bob and I would revisit the possibility of coaching. These guys had developed a kind of frontier mentality: Anyone who trespassed their territory would suffer the consequences. The dorm counselors were afraid of them, and the school's administrators seemed at a loss for how to deal with the problem....

When I wasn't breaking up fights, I made every effort to get to know each one of the guys. Living side by side with them, day in and day out, helped me to build relationships of trust. And that was the key, I think, in helping them turn things around."
Oz was successful and Bob Devaney was proven to be a very wise man.
Oz got the job.

(Note via LawPundit on the unexpected but close connection of academics, football and law: Bob Devaney became NU head coach through a suggestion made to then NU Chancellor Clifford Hardin (later U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) by Michigan State head coach Duffy Daugherty. I went to school with Hardin's children. Cynthia Hardin Milligan is a J.D. and the Dean Emeritus of the Business School at the University of Nebraska, whose husband Robert S. Milligan is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Cynthia Hardin Milligan worked together with Tom Osborne at the University of Nebraska on leadership matters. Nancy Hardin Rogers is also a J.D. and is the daughter-in-law of the late former U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of State William P. Rogers. She is herself a former Attorney General of Ohio and past President of the Association of American Law Schools.)

In the same years that Tom Osborne was beginning his football coaching career, I was in my undergraduate student days at the University of Nebraska. One semester I had a very early morning weight-lifting class (7:30 a.m.) in the basement of the University of Nebraska Coliseum in Lincoln (see video), which today houses the very successful Huskers volleyball program, but then was the arena for Cornhusker basketball games.

That same Coliseum today holds the women's sports NCAA record for the most consecutive sellouts, and I always felt good in the classic aura of that building (see video). Indeed, if I arrived early for my weight-lifting class - this was ca. 6:30 a.m. - I would go shoot baskets on the practice basketball floor prior to that class - I had my own ball.

Few people were even awake on campus at that early hour, and I was usually alone, but I did meet one other person there several times shooting baskets just like I was, very early in the morning. He was a tall (6'5") player who had been selected as an All-State basketball player in high school and was voted the Nebraska Athlete of the Year in 1955. His name, Tom Osborne, who was - then - an assistant for the University of Nebraska football team and - today - is in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.

As we all know from Benjamin Franklin, philosophy and wisdom aside, success comes through hard work and effort, quoting ushistory.org: "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" and Osborne's day began early. I am sure Osborne does not remember me from those early morning basketball encounters, but they were significant enough for me that I can recall them well. This was BEFORE Osborne became a famous coaching name.

It is interesting to see that good habits, once made, are not easily broken, although they may have to be amended to adapt to a change of circumstances. Osborne specifically refers in his book to the gym as an "oasis from partisanship" during his years as a congressman in Washington D.C., where he "made many friends on both sides of the aisle during my evening trips to the gym ... and ... would often stay until it closed around 10:00 P.M. I've always enjoyed working out, and the friendships that I formed there made it an even better experience." The time(s) had changed, but the good habits had remained. Note that Osborne was quite clearly not a supporter of the type of blind partisanship that often marks our vastly improvable Congress.

We were very much moved by Osborne's discussion in his book of the values of family, mentoring, leadership and serving, especially his conviction that "leadership as service", what Osborne calls "transformational leadership", is the best of all leadership forms, even though it is the most difficult to attain.

Osborne tells us on this leadership topic that:
"How a person leads is greatly influenced by his or her understanding of the world ... worldviews are inextricably tied to leadership.

There are so many interesting things discussed in Osborne's book that no review can do them justice. Beyond the Final Score should be read in full.

Osborne concludes:
"Is success just about winning? Acclaim? Trophies? Wealth? Our personal happiness or satisfaction? I have been blessed to experience some of these over the years, and I can answer without batting an eye: No. Accomplishments, applause, awards and fortune are rewards that often come as the result of hard work and a determined spirit, but there is something bigger. Something better. Something that will outlast the winningest season, the plushest corner office, the heftiest bonus and the loudest cheers. That something can only be found when we look beyond the final score." - Tom Osborne, Beyond The Final Score, There's More to Life Than the Game, p. 17

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Google Books and Copyright Law : New Feature Creates Word Clouds for Published Materials : The Example of Stars Stones and Scholars by Andis Kaulins

Words. Words. Words.

Google Books has a special page for Legal Analysis relating to Google Books and copyright law.

Our photo shows the sculpture "The Word" at Groote Markt, the marketplace in Sint-Niklaas, capital of Waasland, Flanders, Belgium,the largest such marketplace in the country:


Google Books is a wonderful information resource which can assist greatly in determining whether to buy a book or not.

Google Books has expanded in the course of time to include many new features. Among these new features are word clouds - in a book's "Overview" section - showing a selection of frequent important terms found in a book. Here is the Google Books word cloud for Stars Stones and Scholars, the Decipherment of the Megaliths by Andis Kaulins.

"Common terms and phrases

Ain Ghazal Ancient Britain Andis Kaulins Andromeda Aquarius Aquila Arbor Low astronomical Auriga Autumn Equinox Barclodiad Y Gawres Bouar Canis Major Carnac Cassiopeia Catal Huyuk Cave Paintings Ceide Fields Celestial Pole Centaurus Cepheus Cetus Clava Cairns Cohen Gadol Coma Berenices constellations Corona Australis Corona Borealis County Sligo Creswell Crags Cygnus Decipherment Delphinus Deneb Dolmen Draco Dschubba Ecliptic Pole Egypt Eridanus Estonia Externsteine False Cross Fowlis Wester Gardom's Edge Gavrinis Gemini Ggantija Gozo Herefordshire Beacon Hierakonpolis Hyades Hydra Hydrus Kents Cavern Lanyon Quoit Large Magellanic Cloud Lascaux Latvian Leo Minor Magdalenians Malta megaliths Menhir Miami Circle Milky Mnajdra Mulfra Neolithic Newgrange Ophiuchus Ordnance Survey Perseus planisphere Pleiades Pole Star precession Richard Hinckley Allen Rock Drawing Rollright Stones Sagittarius Sarsens Saulheim Scorpio Scotland Serpens Caput Serpens Cauda Silbury Hill Solstice Stonehenge Tarxien Taurus Trethevy Quoit tumuli Ursa Major Ursa Minor Virgo Wayland's Smithy Yarmukian Zhangye"

We are very happy to be part of Google Books and view "word clouds" of our published works to be "fair use". But is the legal issue here so simple?

Take a look at these word cloudsvia Federal News Service transcriptsregarding the Democratic Party and Republican Party conventions leading to the US Presidential Election of Barack Obama.

It would certainly seem to be the case that a particular design of a word cloud is copyrightable, and since every word cloud has its own design, then word clouds would appear to be subject to copyright protection. But who owns the words in a cloud?

Word clouds are essentially one example ofdata visualization, for which there are numerous programs online.

Is a "word cloud" a derivative use (in which case it belongs to the original copyright holder) or is it a transformative use (in which case it belongs to the transformer). We favor the latter interpretation, but the issue has never been litigated.

As software applications show, "word clouds" appear to have a very "proprietary" character.

Online anyone can generate word clouds for free at WORDLE.net, which, however, claims the copyright to the word cloud image created, licensing it under a Creative Commons license with attribution. Here is a Wordle word cloud of the most recent postings at LawPundit:

Wordle: LawPundit Recent Postings

There is also a free networking site for writers at The Word Cloud.

Crossposted to LawPundit.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Intellectual Property Rights and Scribd : Uploading of Book Texts Online as a Violation of Copyrights

Scribd is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the Internet.

At ScribdBlog in their posting What ever happened to Fact Checking?, the Scribd Team goes one on one with the Times of London on copyright issues relating to Scribd, involving such famous novelists as J.K. Rowling, Ken Follett, Nick Hornby and John Grisham, who has the current Number 3 Bestseller on the New York Times list of hardcover fiction with his book, of all things, called The Associate, which Patrick Anderson of the The Washington Post calls "A DEVASTATING PORTRAIT OF THE BIG-TIME, BIG-BUCKS LEGAL WORLD."

We were gratified (but of course "legally shocked") at the Times of London article which incurred Scribd's wrath to learn that immensely popular and writingly gifted novelist Ken Follett's World without End (a New York Times No. 1 bestseller) had been uploaded to Scribd and had been viewed 500 times in five months.

We recently uploaded some of our own published works to Scribd. After only one month we have more than 500 views of two of our documents:

The Norse Pharaohs: Astronomical Decipherments re Tanum Hierakonpolis Nazca Sahara Near East DOC

The Origin of the Cult of Horus in Predynastic Egypt DOC


We are strongly considering entry into the publishing field with a novel of our own. Ken Follett and cohorts, look out, there is competition on the way!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who Rules America? A Book by William Domhoff about Wealth Income and Power in the United States

Who holds America's riches?

Professor G. William Domhoff of the University of California at Santa Cruz is the author of Who Rules America?, a book which he describes online as follows:
"My book, Who Rules America?, presents detailed original information on how power and politics operate in the United States. The first edition came out in 1967 and is ranked 12th on the list of 50 best sellers in sociology between 1950 and 1995. A second edition, Who Rules America Now?, arrived in 1983 and landed at #43 on the same list. Third and fourth editions followed in 1998 and 2002, and the fifth edition, upon which most of this web site is based, came out in 2006. Keep an eye out for the sixth edition, due in summer of 2009, which updates the story to include the rise of Barack Obama and the nature of his administration." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
The Amazon.com description of the book is enlightening about the subject matter:
"Drawing from a power elite perspective and the latest empirical data, Domhoff's classic text is an invaluable tool for teaching students about how power operates in U.S. society. Domhoff argues that the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant figures in the U.S. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington and their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments. By providing empirical evidence for his argument, Domhoff encourages students to think critically about the power structure in American society and its implications for our democracy. . ."
The current financial credit crisis in America can only be properly understood with a good background of knowledge about the wealth figures that Domhoff presents. Many important facts can be viewed at Who Rules America? online at Wealth, Income and Power, illustrative of which is the following graphic of the development of income in the United States between 1982 and 2000:

Distribution of income in the United States, 1982-2000
YearTop 1 percentNext 19 percentBottom 80 percent
198212.8%39.1%48.1%
198816.6%38.9%44.5%
199115.7%40.7%43.7%
199414.4%40.8%44.9%
199716.6%39.6%43.8%
200020.0%38.7%41.4%
From Wolff (2004).

These statistics will of course have gotten much worse during the Bush administration. Essentially, the top 1% of the population already in the year 2000 earned nearly double as much income as it did in 1982, while the bottom 80% of the population earned 16% less than it did 20 years previous.

This pattern of wealth misappropriation by the upper classes in America has been going on for quite some time now and the current financial credit crisis can in a Franz Kafka like way be viewed as the point in time when the paying public had been bled so bone dry that the entire mercenary system of income in America became its own exploiting impediment - the small guys ran out of money and could no longer make their mortgage payments to finance the money-grab of the big guys.

Things have gotten so bad that the United States, according to Domhoff, ranks 2nd in the world after Switzerland, a nation of banks, for God sake, in terms of the total national wealth held by 10% of the population:

Percentage of wealth held by the Top 10% of the adult population in various Western countries
countrywealth owned by top 10%
Switzerland71.3%
United States69.8%
Denmark65.0%
France61.0%
Sweden58.6%
UK56.0%
Canada53.0%
Norway50.5%
Germany44.4%
Finland42.3%

The result of this increasing concentration of wealth is power and corruption -- under the motto that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The only available solutions to keeping the United States from dropping further and further into its present near-status as a 3rd world country are: 1) rigorous, indeed draconic controls of its financial institutions, and 2) quick and speedy redistribution of the nation's wealth to the broad mass of America.

Indicative of the giant divide between reality and what you read in the newspapers is Domhoff's graphic comparing the development from 1990 to 2005 of CEO pay (up ca. 300%), the S&P 500 (up ca. 140%), corporate profits (up ca. 100%), production workers' pay (up ca. 4%), and the Federal minimum wage (down nearly 10%).

The papers are constantly full of overfed executives ranting about the minimum wage, but in reality, that is not the issue. A nation running its economy as a vast system of worker exploitation will not long endure and America must get its act together quickly if it is to survive the present financial crisis and move forward, or - perhaps forever - fall behind. Heed the warning signs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vincent Varga : Library of Congress : Cartographia : Mapping Civilisations

We are a bit late on this, but Cartographia: Mapping Civilisations by Vincent Virga and the Library of Congress is a "Must Have Book" for your library shelves. For example, it features the Waldseemüller Map, the first map to ever use the term "America":
"Waldseemüller map is the first map to include the name "America" and the first to depict the Americas as separate from Asia. There is only one surviving copy of the map, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 2001 for $10 million."
We show this map below from Wikimedia Commons but see also LOC:


You can view 16 of the maps in small images at NPR.

The original Library of Congress press release stated:
"September 26, 2007

Library's Map Treasures Are Highlighted in "Cartographia"

New Publication to Be Subject of Program and Book Signing on Oct. 23

Maps are a visual record of human endeavor, each with a tale to tell. In their various forms, maps are models of time, diaries of political maneuverings and works of art that provide a unique vision of how the world evolved.

Drawn from the world’s largest cartographic collection, housed in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, "Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations," by Vincent Virga, has been published by the Library in association with Little, Brown and Company.

Comprising more than 250 maps, "Cartographia" celebrates the work of those who have charted the world from the dawn of civilization to the present. Among the rare gems included in the book are the 1507 Waldseemüller world map, the first to include the designation "America"; Orelius’s "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" of 1570, considered to be the first modern atlas; rare maps from Africa, Asia and Oceania that challenge traditional Western perspectives; William Faulkner’s hand-drawn 1936 map of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Miss.; and a map of the human genome.

Vincent Virga is the author of "Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States," which was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club.

Virga and co-author Ron Grim will discuss "Cartographia" as part of the Library’s Books & Beyond author series at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the Center for the Book, the Geography and Map Division and the Publishing Office. For more information, contact the Center for the Book at (202) 707-5221.

"Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations," a 272-page hardcover book with more than 250 color maps and illustrations, is available for $60 from major bookstores nationwide and from the Library of Congress Sales Shop, Washington, D.C. 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at www.loc.gov/shop.

# # #

PR 07-192
09/26/07
ISSN 0731-3527"

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Our Websites and Blogs

3D Printing and More 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient Signs (the book) Ancient World Blog AndisKaulins.com Anthropomorphic Design Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) Archaeo Pundit Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World Computer Pundit DVD Pundit Easter Island Script Echolat edu.edu Einstein’s Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof HousePundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog LawPundit.com Law Pundit Blog LexiLine.com LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic World Megaliths Blog Megaliths.net Minoan Culture Mutatis Mutandis Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Pinterest Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Shelfari Sky Earth Drones Sky Earth Native America SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stonehenge Pundit The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Wearable Technology Wizard WeTechWi Wine Pundit Word Pundit xistmz YahooPundit zistmz