Friday, March 30, 2012

Harry Crews is dead. Meet him in this video.

A great Georgia Author who lived hard and died too early. Crews was the son of sharecroppers in Bacon County, Georgia. His father died when he was two. RIP, Harry.

"I don't suppose you could imagine a more alienated human being than a south Georgia sharecropper who must move every year from one leeched-out patch of soil to another. Never owning anything. With his back continually to the wall. Other people get medical care. He gets none. Other people get oranges and grapefruit or lemons to keep from getting trench mouth or scurvy, but he has none. Other people have children who have shoes. But his have none. I mean, if he's not alienated, who the hell is? Maybe if I write about alienated male characters, maybe this alienation comes just from my own life."
More at

Thursday, March 29, 2012

So you want to be a copy editor

It must be easier nowadays.  This is a hand-edited typewritten manuscript of Crash, by J.G. Ballard, written in the early 1970s.  Via Uncertain Times, and  (TYWKIWDBI.)

How Books Are Born (video)

Sure, high speed printers can spew out the WSJ's full daily circulation in five hours but where's the soul in that? Where's the craftsmanship? To see the magic of traditional book-making in action, check out Birth of a Book.

Glen Milner produced this book-binding vignette at Smith-Settle Printers in Leeds, England as the binders bound Suzanne St Albans' Mango and Mimosa.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Michael Shermer: Baloney Detection Kit (video)

In a nutshell,the 10 Questions:

1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
2.Does the source make similar claims?
3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?

Take the Oxford Spelling Challenge

A most fiendish spelling test.


The $8 billion iPod (TED Talk video)

Neil deGrasse Tyson - We Stopped Dreaming (video)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Neil deGrasse Dyson and the Most Important Thing to Know About the Universe (video)

"What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?"

When I look up at the night sky and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but perhaps more important than most of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up — many people feel small, because they’re small, the Universe is big — but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars. There’s a level of connectivity — that’s really what you want in life. You want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant. You want to feel like you’re a participant in the goings on and activities and events around you. That’s precisely what we are, just by being alive.”

In March, read all the books you have been meaning to read (poster)

A couple miore at Brain Pickings.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Predicting the future from 1969 (video)

Made in 1969 at the Post Office Research Station, Dollis Hill, this eight minute film attempts to predict what the future of communications may be like. It is amazing how many predictions they got right: - international video calls - pagers - answering machines - facsimiles - online bank statements - online stock prices - online mortgage calculators - telecommuting and more.