Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Can Anything, Or Anyone, Save Bookstores ...

I have said it before and I will say it again and you will get tired of me saying it for decades to come (or until Facebook just outright buys the internet and shuts down all independent media), but I will never ever tire of poetry about escapes ...
The famous poet said write by the light of your wounds... 
That the moon causes tides
seems too witchy to be science.
The Cold River purging sheet iron,
jeans, a jewel-eyed
alabaster goat. Is that
why I'm here?

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself
— Neil Gaiman

Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water a creature feature with heart

"Most people dream they can fly when they're kids, but I always wanted to breathe underwater," says Guillermo del Toro. He was six years old when he first saw the Creature from the Black Lagoon, with its shonky monster besotted with a beautiful swimmer. Del Toro immediately identified with the monster, ...

It Snowed in the Sahara and the Photos Are Breathtaking Earther 

William James saw himself as a popularizer, not an originator. He was harsh about his own work: “No one could be more disgusted than I at the sight of the book”  Bookphobia 

The Bookshelf of the God of Infinite Space

You would expect an uncountable number
Acres and acres of books in rows
Like wheat or gold bullion. Or that the words just
Appear in the mind, like banner headlines.
In fact there is one shelf
Holding a modest number, ten or twelve volumes.
No dust jackets, because—no dust.
Covers made of gold or skin
Or golden skin, or creosote or rain-
Soaked macadam, or some
Mix of salt & glass. You turn a page
& mountains rise, clouds drawn by children
Bubble in the sky, you are twenty
Again, trying to read a map
Dissolving in your hands. I say You & mean
Me, say God & mean Librarian—who after long research
Offers you a glass of water and an apple—
You, grateful to discover your name,
A footnote in that book.

Chance Divine
Oberlin College Press

What Can Be Done to Protect Endangered Government Data?

“The federal government has made significant strides towards making vast amounts of government data freely available to the public, and businesses, researchers, civil society groups, journalists, and many others have put open data to good use. However, recent events suggest that some open government data may be at risk. For example, in February 2017, the… Continue Reading

Crowdsourcing letters to representatives for transparency and accountability 

“From-Congress is an attempt to collect letters sent by representatives to their constituents. These letters often contain statements by the rep about positions that might otherwise be difficult to discover. This project exists to increase the amount of transparency and accountability of representatives in their districts…The project is created and run by Evan Conrad, who… Continue Reading

Welcome to the J. Paul Getty Museum YouTube channel. We’re pleased to share a selection of videos about the collection, art-making techniques, conservation projects, exhibitions, and related programming

 Lauren Gunderson, an Atlantan living in San Francisco, is America’s most produced playwright

Does the Fairfax slogan, “Independent.  Always”, really mean independent of truth, reliability and knowledge?  Or should my humble response to the extraordinary headline and story in the Sun-Herald of 31 December have been an admission that, even after an operatic obsession of more than 50 years, there might have been a great Australian singer whom I’d never heard of: “New Joan Sullivan theatre to hit high note”.  Worse still, the story that followed then wrongly mentioned that legendary name twice.  Talk about rubbing salt into wounds (not to mention the cliché of the headline, even if it were correct). Continue reading 

Every human person is inevitably involved with two worlds: the world they carry within them and the world that is out there. All thinking, all writing, all action, all creation and all destruction is about that bridge between the two worlds. All thought is about putting a face on experience… One of the most exciting and energetic forms of thought is the question. I always think that the question is like a lantern. It illuminates new landscapes and new areas as it moves. Therefore, the question always assumes that there are many different dimensions to a thought that you are either blind to or that are not available to you. So a question is really one of the forms in which wonder expresses itself. One of the reasons that we wonder is because we are limited, and that limitation is one of the great gateways to wonder.
All thinking that is imbued with wonder is graceful and gracious thinking… And thought, if it’s not open to wonder, can be limiting, destructive and very, very dangerous.

A Woman Who Saved A London Bookstore And Earned A Double First At Cambridge (And Was A Supermodel) Earns The Ire Of A Man ‘Protecting’ Emily Brönte’s Name

So this went over well (read the link for the lengthy backlash): “‘What would Emily Brontë think if she found that the role of chief ‘artist’ and organizer in her celebratory year was a supermodel?’ the biographer, Nick Holland, asked. Mr. Holland said Ms. Cole’s appointment smacked of a desire to be ‘trendy.’ He was quitting the society, he added sarcastically, before it had the chance to announce the comedian James Corden and the singer Rita Ora as future partners.”

Vrbov, Church of St. Servatius and Marian column (18th c.)

The gap between the share of Americans who get news online and those who do so on television is narrowing. As of August, 43% of Americans report often getting news online, just 7 percentage points lower than the 50% who often get news on television, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August. This gap between the two news platforms was 19 points in early 2016, more than twice as large. The share of Americans who often get news from TV – whether from local TV news, nightly network TV news or cable news – is down from 57% in early 2016. At the same time, the portion of Americans often getting news online, either from news websites/apps or social media, grew from 38% in early 2016 to 43% today. What’s more, the decline in television news use occurs across all three types of TV news asked about in the survey – local, network and cable – but is greatest for local television news. As of August 2017, 37% of Americans said they often get local TV news, compared with 46% in early 2016. The other two platforms asked about in the survey – radio and print newspapers – are about on par with last year in terms of reported consumption. A quarter of Americans often get news from radio and 18% do so from print newspapers

How Reading Has Shaped Who We Are
     from The New York Times

Two intense storms hit the US on Wednesday, one caused by a book: Michael Wolff's January 9 release FIRE AND FURY, which landed in a wave of embargo cracks and accelerated excerpts. As we covered Wednesday morning, the Guardian broke the embargo after obtaining a full copy of Michael Wolff's forthcoming both Fire and Fury, they didn't know how to read what they had: later Wednesday morning New York Magazine posted the moved-up version of their lengthy official excerpt in reaction, and the book quickly rose to the top of bestseller lists based on “I’m afraid. Is this really something that I can do myself? If your ten-year-old cousin can build a Millennium Falcon out of LEGO bricks, you can swap out your iPhone battery. Don’t believe us? Watch one of our repair videos and read through a step-by-step guide first to see if you’re up to the task. If you still need a confidence boost, check out these success stories submitted by users just like you. We’ve taught hundreds of thousands of people to do this. It requires care and attention to detail—but you got this!…”

NBC also acquired a full copy, and sprinkled various anecdotes into their posted accounts of Wolff's "
wildest claims" and "behind-the-scenes tales." The NYT let it be known by Wednesday night they had a copy, but did not file many distinctive extracts. A second official excerpt from the Hollywood Reporter (where Wolff is a columnist) landed overnight, also on an accelerated timetable. And The Times of London offered one small "exclusive extract" (in which former Prime Minister Tony Blair passed on to Jared Kushner a "juicy rumor: the possibility that the British had had the Trump campaign staff under surveillance, monitoring its telephone calls and other communications and possibly even Trump himself.")

For our extensive full account, including 16 more paragraphs, join Publishers Marketplace now.

The Year-End List Means A Lot More In 2017, And Is More Radical, Than It Ever Was Before…

Year-end lists go against this year's tide: "For many Americans, 2017 has amounted to a permanent kind of jet lag: bodily schedules misaligned with social ones. There is so much happening, always. There is so much to know, unceasingly. There is so much that won’t be known. Which is also to say that there is so much that won’t be paid attention to. If one of the functions of the American media is to give order to the world’s messiness, to help people make determinations about what—and who—deserves their attention and care, 2017 was the year in which that ordering function lost some of its stability." … [Read More]

Can Anything, Or Anyone, Save Bookstores?…

A bookstore is many things that Amazon's Kindle store is not: "'a miniature city,' a centre of resistance and a battlefield where commercial value and authorial prestige are contested every day. It's 'a condensed version of the world,' and a ritual space for 'a community of believers.'" Does anyone believe in the bookstore anymore? … [Read More]

Time Is Running Out (At Midnight) For The 10 Million Dollar Reward For Hints On The Gardner Museum Heist…

There's still a little time, and even after the new year, there's still a pretty big reward: "The stolen paintings are valued at more than $500 million, and the museum has long offered a reward for information that will lead authorities to recover all of the paintings in good condition. The reward was $5 million until May, when it was temporarily doubled. But that $10 million reward - and like Cinderella's coach - reverts to a $5 million pumpkin on January 1." … [Read More]

How this humble home became one of Australia's most iconic