Category: Objets Trouves

OCLC WorldCat: Watching The Great Database In the Sky Grow

August 10th, 2005 — 9:06pm

On aver­age, a new record is added to the World­Cat data­base every 10 sec­onds. Watch it hap­pen live…” Watch World­Cat grow
Accord­ing to the About page:
“World­Cat is the world’s largest bib­li­o­graphic data­base, the merged cat­a­logs of thou­sands of OCLC mem­ber libraries. Built and main­tained col­lec­tively by librar­i­ans, World­Cat itself is not an OCLC ser­vice that is pur­chased, but rather pro­vides the foun­da­tion for many OCLC ser­vices and the ben­e­fits they pro­vide.“
Here’s what went into the sys­tem while I was typ­ing this entry out:
The fol­low­ing record was added to World­Cat on 08/10/2005 9:08 PM
Total hold­ings in World­Cat: 999,502,692
OCLC Num­ber: 61245112
Title: The­o­log­i­cal and cul­tural stud­ies in honor of Simon John De Vries /
Pub­lisher: T. & T. Clark Inter­na­tional,
Pub­li­ca­tion Date: c2004.
Lan­guage: Eng­lish
For­mat: Book
Some impres­sive World­Cat sta­tis­tics from the OCLC site:
Between July 2004 and June 2005:

  • World­Cat grew by 4.6 mil­lion records
  • Libraries used World­Cat to cat­a­log and set hold­ings for 51.9 mil­lion items and arrange 9.4 mil­lion inter­li­brary loans
  • Library staff and users con­ducted 34.7 mil­lion searches of World­Cat via First­Search for research and ref­er­ence, and to locate materials


  • World­Cat has 57,968,788 unique bib­li­o­graphic records
  • 53,548 par­tic­i­pat­ing libraries world­wide use and con­tribute to WorldCat
  • Every 10 sec­onds an OCLC mem­ber library adds a record to WorldCat
  • Every 4 sec­onds an OCLC mem­ber library fills an inter­li­brary loan request using WorldCat
  • Every sec­ond a library user searches World­Cat using FirstSearch

For us infor­ma­tion types, it beats the hell out of the old pop­u­la­tion clocks that the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau still runs for the US and the world.
BTW, for the curi­ous, “Accord­ing to the U.S. Bureau of the Cen­sus, the res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion of the United States, pro­jected to 08÷11÷05 at 01:24 GMT (EST+5) is 296,854,475″

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Where Baby Circuits Come From

October 25th, 2004 — 12:13pm

Cen­turies from now, robot arche­ol­o­gists from future soci­eties will dis­cover these acro­bat­i­cally inclined fig­urines made of cir­cuit com­po­nents at a dig site on the loca­tion of a long-forgotten human city, and mis­tak­enly label them as reli­gious fer­til­ity icons cre­ated by early com­puter artists dur­ing the dawn of the new machine age…
Or. in the words of the co-worker who sent me this origin­gally, “And for those who’ve seen Team Amer­ica World Police, this is nuthin’.”

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When You Can't Find The WC, Build Your Own...

May 26th, 2004 — 3:00pm

Instruc­tions from the Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders field man­ual
“The sim­ple pit latrine is one of the sim­plest and cheap­est means of dis­pos­ing of human wastes. If well designed and built, cor­rectly sited and well main­tained, it con­tributes sig­nif­i­cantly to the pre­ven­tion of feco-orally trans­mit­ted dis­eases.“
I’m not sure how you’re sup­posed to down­load and print these from the Web if you’re in a loca­tion with­out plumb­ing, but then again I sup­pose that’s what satelltie phones are for…

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Find Out Who's Walking On the Wild Side?

August 15th, 2003 — 4:55am

Found this morn­ing on the BBCi while look­ing for some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent -
“Sen­sa­tion Seek­ing Scale
This ques­tion­naire is designed to test your ten­dency towards var­ied, novel and intense sen­a­tions. This is some­times known as thrill-seeking or arousal seek­ing.“
Here’s the link: Sen­sa­tion Seek­ing Scale

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