Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Every Paris Review interview from the last 60 years

Founded in Paris by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton in 1953, The Paris Review began with a simple editorial mission: to emphasize creative work—fiction and poetry with the aim of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it holds in most literary magazines and putting it pretty much where it belongs, i.e., somewhere near the back of the book.

To our delight the publication has recently made available online every literary interview they have published for the past 60 years. Fascinating!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The 50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History

Admittedly, the list is quite subjective. As the site indicates, characters of both the purely hated and “love to hate” variety make appearances. In the top ten are Holden Caulfield, Scarlet O'Hara, Iago and Delores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series (pictured). Nonetheless, an interesting perspective.

Found at Coudal Partners

Monday, October 25, 2010

Amazon to let Kindle users lend e-books

Amazon has taken a huge step in improving the eBook experience by allowing Kindle users to lend their books to friends. Kindle users will be able to lend books to other users of the Kindle device or app, while losing access to it themselves.

Books can only be lent once, and loans will be limited to 14 days. In addition, says the company, not all e-books will be lendable. "This is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending," says Amazon.

Announced on the Kindle Forum. Read more at the link.

Hand sanitizer only last for two minutes

Posted as a public service:

From the The New York Daily News:
"Alcohol sanitizers last only a minute or two and must be reapplied when recontamination occurs," says Dr. Philip Tierno Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Read more at the link.

Rejection slip...

The rejection slip the motion picture studio Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1907-1925) sent screenwriters whose submissions were found wanting. Essanay is best remembered today for its series of Charlie Chaplin films.

Found via Coudal Partners

Friday, October 22, 2010

Japan's middle school girls devour novels using their phones

From the article in The Christian Science Monitor
Sales of smart phones and electronic reading devices are strong as ever here, and one literary genre in particular continues to capture the heart of middle school girls.

Keitai shosetsu (cellphone novels) have found a steady teen following. Popular themes are romantic comedies in school settings. The novels can be read on tiny digital screens by accessing websites that publish the stories. The most popular ones are printed into books.

Nippan, Japan’s largest publication distributor, reports that the keitai bestseller in the past year was “Koisuru Akuma” (“Devil in Love”). The short paperback is about high-schooler Akane and her handsome, straight-A boyfriend, Tose, who sometimes has a nasty temper.

Author “Ayu” is a 20-something mom of two whose real identity is kept under wraps. Such anonymity is characteristic of this genre.

Media-sharing website Maho i-Land boasts 1 million online books and 6 million users who read and/or write novels on the website for free. Many users tap away and compose using their cellphones, simply following a word limit of 1,000 or less characters per page. Budding authors can choose to “publish” their online story immediately or keep it unlisted. Many upload their content as they finish and choose to receive feedback from readers. Authors respond to feedback by fixing mistakes and sometimes changing the story lines. The most successful authors get their stories printed.

“Keitai novels make up a roughly $36 million market annually,” says Shigeru Matsushima, an editor at Starts Publishing Co.

When these novels first became popular, gritty stories were the mainstream. More recently, they include happy endings, perhaps reflecting a desire to fantasize about better times.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. He was an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography. He helped develop the "street photography" or "real life reportage" style that has influenced generations of photographers who followed.

LiveJournal has a wonderful collection of his iconic photographs from the forties and fifties. Well worth a look.

The Reader's Alphabet

Click to enlarge

The Gettysburg Address Revisited

Gettysburg Address from Adam Gault on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pimps make the best librarians

Avi Steinberg graduated from Harvard somewhat directionless — so he took a job as a prison librarian.In Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Librarian, Steinberg shares stories of his time working at the Suffolk County House of Correction.
Pimps make the best librarians. Psycho killers, the worst. Ditto con men. Gangsters, gunrunners, bank robbers — adept at crowd control, at collaborating with a small staff, at planning with deliberation and executing with contained fury — all possess the librarian's basic skill set. Scalpers and loan sharks certainly have a role to play. But even they lack that something, the je ne sais quoi, the elusive it. What would a pimp call it? Yes: the love.
NPR has a brief interview and excerpt from the first chapter here. Fascinating stuff! Thanks Aimee!

Students Still Cling to Paper Textbooks

From the article:

“The screen won’t go blank,” said Faton Begolli, a sophomore from Boston. “There can’t be a virus. It wouldn’t be the same without books. They’ve defined ‘academia’ for a thousand years.”

Though the world of print is receding before a tide of digital books, blogs and other Web sites, a generation of college students weaned on technology appears to be holding fast to traditional textbooks.

Remember cassettes?

Monoscope has some wonderful cassette inserts to jog your memory.

"Little Librarian" playset for kids

From the site:
Little Librarian is the first personal library kit made just for kids! It encourages reading and is powered by creativity and imagination, not batteries! Little Librarian provides book lovers with everything they need to transform their book collection into a library. Kids can practice the important skills of organizing, sharing, borrowing, and returning. Book pockets, check out cards, library cards, and bookmarks are just like the ones from the real library. Little Librarians will issue overdue notices and awards. Favorite books can be stored in the reading journal and shared with friends.
To get started just add books!

Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Marian the Librarian from "The Music Man" - delightful!

Iconic photographs

Iconic Photos is a brilliant collection of photographs that document iconic moments in world history. Fascinating, revealing, frightening, profane and often disturbing, these photos pull no punches. There are some upsetting images and some nudity, but the collection is important.

Found via Coudal Partners

Apple: Highest revenue and earnings ever

Apple says its 2010 fiscal fourth quarter results are its "highest revenue and earnings ever," with records set for Mac, iPhone and iPad sales. Some of the highlight numbers include 14.1 million iPhones sold (up 91 percent over Q4 last year), 3.89 million Macs (up 27 percent), 9.05 million iPods (down 11 percent), and 4.19 million iPads. It all added up to an all-time record for Apple of $20.34 billion in revenue for a net profit of $4.31 billion.

Press release here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unpublished Dr. Seuss manuscript surfaces

More that forty years ago, Theodore S. Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, began work on a book. He had assistants working with him, one of whom managed the project. For reasons noted in the article, he put the manuscript aside. Story here, with many more hand-drawn page concepts.

Court Says U. of Calgary Students Who Criticized Professors on Facebook Are Protected

An Alberta court has ruled that students who criticize their professors online are protected from university sanctions by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedom according to a report in the Calgary Herald. The precedent-setting ruling by Justice Jo’Anne Strekaf says that when universities try to suppress the free speech of students, the students’ right to speak is protected.

Complete story here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Americans and their gadgets

In recent years the digital world has expanded far beyond the desktop, and consumers can now choose from an array of devices capable of satisfying their need for “anytime, anywhere” access to news, information, friends and entertainment. This report examines the latest research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project regarding seven key appliances of the information age:

  • Cell phones – 85% of Americans now own a cell phone. Cell phone ownership rates among young adults illustrate the extent to which mobile phones have become a necessity of modern communications: fully 96% of 18-29 year olds own a cell phone of some kind.

  • Desktop and laptop computers – Three quarters (76%) of Americans own either a desktop or laptop computer. Since 2006, laptop ownership has grown dramatically (from 30% to 52%) while desktop ownership has declined slightly.

  • Mp3 players – Just under half of American adults (47%) own an mp3 player such as an iPod, a nearly five-fold increase from the 11% who owned this type of device in early 2005.

  • Game consoles – Console gaming devices like the Xbox and PlayStation are nearly as common as mp3 players, as 42% of Americans own a home gaming device. Parents (64%) are nearly twice as likely as non-parents (33%) to own a game console.

  • Tablet computers and e-book readers – Compared to the other devices in this list, e-book readers (such as the Kindle) and tablet computers (such as the iPad) are relatively new arrivals to the consumer technology scene and are owned by a relatively modest number of Americans. However, these devices are proving popular with traditional early adopter groups such as the affluent and highly educated--ownership rates for tablets and e-book readers among college graduates and those earning $75,000 or more per year are roughly double the national average.

These findings are based on a survey of 3,001 American adults (ages 18 and older) conducted between August 9 and September 13, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, and the survey included 1,000 cell phone interviews.

Download the full report in PDF format here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10 common misconceptions dispelled

10 Common Misconceptions Dispelled

[Source: Misconception Junction]

A beautiful collectionof Art Noveau posters

Many more here.

The illusions of Octavio Campo

Artist Octavio Ocampo was born in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico on February 28, 1943. He was educated at the Fine Art Institute, Mexico City and the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating in 1974. He has been exhibiting since 1972. His illusionists paints are fascinating. Many more here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Infographic: Relative calories of popular foods. Flavored coffees are killers.

This is actually from my hometown, Bainbridge, Georgia. I found it on an archive site and thought you might enjoy....