Online Research at the Boston Public Library

Are you studying in Massachusetts? Well, I’ve got some good news for you.

Students and residents in Massachusetts can sign up with the Boston Public Library for a library card. Besides allowing borrowing privileges, this card gives access to many of the electronic databases to which the BPL subscribes, including JSTOR, the ATLA Religion Database, PSYCinfo, and the full-text version of Dissertation Abstracts.

A potential patron does not need to be a resident of Boston, and the patron does not even have to be an official Massachusetts resident – they can be a student studying in Massachusetts with declared residency in another state.

Just to make things easier, the BPL also offers an “eCard” for those who do not intend to borrow books, but use the online resources. You do not have to travel to the BPL to obtain one of these cards, you can simply sign up at the library’s web site (see the “Register for a Library Card Online” link in the center column on their home page (

If you have any questions about this service, visit their F.A.Q. page.

It’s great to see our Massachusetts tax dollars at work on something useful!

Lego – A Grievous Alternative

Late last Friday night I spent a few hours playing with Lego blocks – my new obsession… I put together an alternate model for the 7656-1 General Grievous Starfighter. I’ve been reading various Lego blogs and catching up on new building techniques that have developed since I stopped playing with Legos 20 years ago, and I decided to give some of them a try. Well, here’s the finished product. It was my first original model in the past two decades. Overall, I don’t think it’s too shabby. It’s amazing how cathartic it is to have a non-academic, non-book, non-computer hobby! (Click the thumbnail/this link to see other views of the model.)