Carol Tilley, Information Science Professor


Cool Tools Show 102: Carol Tilley

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Our guest this week is Carol Tilley. Disguised as a mild-mannered Midwestern library and information science professor, Carol Tilley is actually the Comics Crusader, whose 2013 research debunked evidence used by 1950s anti-comics advocate Fredric Wertham. A 2016 Eisner Award judge, Carol is also president-elect of the Comics Studies Society and an in-demand speaker on comics history.

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Show notes:

Instant Pot Duo 8-quart ($129)
“I’m not a big kitchen gadget person. I sort of operate under the idea that if you have a good pan, and a good knife, that’s more or less all you need. I fell under the sway of the Instant Pot marketing about a year ago, and some friends of mine convinced me that it was a miracle. I was a little bit hesitant but I thought for 100 bucks I would give it a try. It really is something very cool. I sometimes joke that it’s the one pot, sort of like the one ring except in a good way. We make yogurt, rice, dry beans, everything that we’ve tried so far has been pretty magical in terms of cutting down the time and cutting down the mess of making set up.”

Antsy Labs Fidget Cube ($10)
“I was one of the Kickstarter backers for the original Fidget Cubes from Antsy Labs. I am so happy and so impressed. I’ve always been one of those folks who even as a kid, I twiddled my thumbs, which was kind of a joke at times. I cannot sit still. I’ve never been able to sit still. The Fidget Cube, even though it doesn’t keep me from tapping my legs, or crossing or uncrossing my legs, the Fidget Cube does keep my hands occupied. I really love that there are six different things that I can do with this. I think probably the glide side is my favorite but also the spinner side, and the side that looks like the five on a die where you can punch the little buttons in and out. It’s just very satisfying.”

Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens ($14)
“Like a lot of people, I love to sort of glam on to pens, but I also lose them frequently. I like to be able to write with something that feels good when the tip touches the paper. With the Varsity, I found that the nib is really nice and smooth. I think the ink flow is good. I feel like I can write elegantly with it. If I lose it, it’s not the end of the world. I haven’t spent $500 or $1,000 on a month-long and then feel guilty when it disappears out of my bag. I keep a box of the black ones and a box of the purple ink handy, pretty much all the time.”

Library Card
“I’m a librarian by training. I teach people who are going to be librarians. I have been a library user since age three. A library card for me, I’m lucky to live in a community that has two extraordinarily good public library systems; Champaign Public and Urbana Free Library. Our university library system here at University of Illinois is one of the best in the world. I can’t imagine being without that access. I think that whether you are a kid, or a senior, or a college student, or a parent, an entrepreneur, I think there’s something at your local library that can really make a difference in your life.”