The Web has thousands of halfway-decent blogs. This is one of them, from Tucson, AZ. [More].
End of Blog Countdown
0 days to go.
RSS & More
Current Visitors: 122
"Reducing corporate productivity for 4,398 days."
Tuesday, 27 September, 2011
Callista’s New Book Is Available
Mrs. Newtster, president of Gingrich Productions, has published a new book about the GOP mascot: Sweet Land of Liberty.
In Sweet Land of Liberty, Ellis the Elephant sets off on a quest to find out. Through an amazing afternoon at the library, Ellis travels through time and discovers the pivotal moments that have shaped our nation’s unique history.
The author is shown here posing with Ellis.
(via Princess Sparkle Pony)
Saturday, 24 September, 2011
Cat Food Report
At Amazon, a $795 research report: The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Canned Meat-Based and Ration Meat-Based Cat Food.
This study covers the world outlook for canned meat-based and ration meat-based cat food across more than 200 countries. For each year reported, estimates are given for the latent demand, or potential industry earnings (P.I.E.), for the country in question (in millions of U.S. dollars), the percent share the country is of the region and of the globe.
This report does not discuss the specific players in the market serving the latent demand, nor specific details at the product level. The study also does not consider short-term cyclicalities that might affect realized sales. The study, therefore, is strategic in nature, taking an aggregate and long-run view, irrespective of the players or products involved.
The author is Philip M. Parker. You may remember reading some of his other works. Personally, I enjoyed The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Hair Dryers. Another good one was The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Marking Pens. But if you're looking for sheer page-turning excitement, you can't go wrong with The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Dental Chairs.
Thursday, 22 September, 2011
Photos Of Possessions
From a book: Material World- A Snapshot of World Possessions.
The image is part of Material World: A Global Family Portrait, a project started in the 90′s by esteemed photojournalist Peter Menzel.
In each of 30 countries, Menzel used data from the World Bank and United Nations to find statistically average families: average in size, location, background, and occupation. He then coordinated with 16 leading photographers to create images that give us a social and geographical snapshot of peoples lives and the objects that fill them.
At Amazon: Material World: A Global Family Portrait.
Wednesday, 14 September, 2011
Since September 6, Garry Trudeau has been leaking excerpts from Joe McGinniss' forthcoming Sarah Palin biography. Except for Sundays.
I can't wait until he gets to the part about the basketball player.
Monday, 12 September, 2011
Fake Dust Jackets
Not really fake, they're Facsimile Dust Jackets.
Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC is the sole funding for Mark Terry’s “Dust Jacket Archives” project.
Our goal is to scan and archive images of as many vintage dust jackets as we can. We feel
these dust jackets are an important part of our heritage.
$22 each. What about copyright?
Copyright laws are complicated and confusing at best. All of the jackets I offer fall under the 1909 copyright law that states that a copyright is good for 28 years and can be renewed only once. If you feel I've violated a copyright of yours, please feel free to contact me and we'll address the issue.
Tuesday, 06 September, 2011
Soundtracks For Books
This seems like a gimmick that would be very annoying and distracting, but what do I know? Booktrack: Soundtracks for Books.
Booktrack is a new and engaging way to read by matching synchronized music, sound effects and ambient sound to the text of ebooks that is automatically paced to your reading speed. Like a soundtrack for movies, Booktrack brings another level of energy and engagement to e-reading.
So, if you're reading an exciting part, you hear exciting music. If you're reading a romantic part, you hear romantic music. If somebody gets shot, you hear a gunshot. Etc.
It works with iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone and Android.
Friday, 26 August, 2011
One of the books we listened to on our recent road trip was Robinson Crusoe. Neither of us had read it, so it was a new experience. It was read by some British fellow, so it seemed authentic. It was also the unabridged version.
The first 2/3 of the book was great. Defoe should have stopped there. It would have been much better if R.C. never left the island, and died there. After he left, the book got very boring and Robinson turned out to be a real jerk.
I had no idea this book was so religious. It could have been written by a preacher. At times, the religious parts were laughable. Everything good that happened was by the grace of God. Even the bad things were good because God caused them to happen.
I'd like to see someone edit this book and make Robinson Crusoe an atheist. Just delete all of the religious parts, and replace them with something more rational.
Overall, not bad for a 300 year old novel.
Friday, 29 July, 2011
End Of Publishing
This is from last year, but it's new to me.
Tuesday, 19 July, 2011
I'm about 45% of the way through Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 classic adventure book, Kon-Tiki.
I could have sworn I read it a long time ago, but I don't remember a thing. It's really good reading.
And this: Heyerdahl’s theories win support.
Thor Heyerdahl, arguably Norway’s most famous explorer, had to endure a lot of criticism over his theories of migration in the South Pacific and elsewhere but genetic testing and new research may help prove him right.
Monday, 18 July, 2011
Reading No Longer Fundamental?
"On February 1, President Obama released his proposed FY2011 budget which eliminates the funding for Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and its nationwide services. Without this federal funding, over 4.4 million children and families will not receive free books or reading encouragement from RIF programs at nearly 17,000 locations throughout the U.S.
"Unless Congress reinstates $25 million in funding for this program, RIF will not be able to distribute 15 million books annually to the nation's children at greatest risk for academic failure. RIF programs in schools, community centers, hospitals, military bases, and other locations serving children from low-income families, children with disabilities, homeless children, and children without adequate access to libraries. The Inexpensive Book Distribution program is authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (SEC.5451 Inexpensive Book Distribution Program for Reading Motivation) and is not funded through earmarks. It has been funded by Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975.
"Since its founding in 1966, RIF has played a critical role in improving literacy in this country by providing new, free books for children to keep and build home libraries."
Here's an idea: End the Iraq war three hours early, and the cost is covered!
Monday, 11 July, 2011
Woman Visits Heaven, Writes Book
Another miracle, another book deal: Topekan recounts near-death experience.
Nearly five years after the fact, 80-year-old Gladys Hargis, of Topeka, still has a difficult time believing what she experienced the night she nearly died.
Her soul left her body, she said, followed by a visit from angels and a trip to the gates of heaven. Others have shared similar out-of-body stories through the years, and Hargis said she has no doubt her story is real.
The accounts of that night, and the days that followed, are recounted in her book, "You Live Forever".
Now that's the perfect title for a book. It summarizes the appeal of all religions in three simple words. I'll bet even Muslims are buying this book.
Monday, 27 June, 2011
Monster In Eye
I hate when this happens.
To see what happens, read Mysterious Adventures No. 8 (it's in the Terror Tuesday section).
Tuesday, 07 June, 2011
Storing Every Book
A pretty big project: Why Preserve Books? The New Physical Archive of the Internet Archive.
Internet Archive is building a physical archive for the long term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie we are able to attract or acquire.
The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work. The universe of unique titles has been estimated at close to one hundred million items. Many of these are rare or unique, so we do not expect most of these to come to the Internet Archive; they will instead remain in their current libraries. But the opportunity to preserve over ten million items is possible, so we have designed a system that will expand to this level.
How to store them?
This system uses the infrastructure developed around the most used storage design of the 20th century, the shipping container. Rows of stacked shipping containers are used like 40′ deep shelving units. In this configuration, a single shipping container can hold around 40,000 books, about the same as a standard branch library, and a small building can hold millions of books.
Wednesday, 25 May, 2011
Concertina has a request:
I would like to humbly suggest a topic that I'd like to see the responses to, something like this:
What books have you read at least n times?
I suggest the best compromise value for n would be 3.
Good topic. Since I'm the boss in these parts, I hereby assign the value 3 to n.
To the best of my recollection, there are only two books that I have read more than two times:
I have a theory that, as we age, we can probably get by with about 30-40 books. Example: A few days ago I finished reading The Graduate, and I didn't even realize that I read it as recently as December, 2008. Some parts seemed familiar, but I assumed it was because of the movie. Then I watched the movie, and it was like watching it for the first time. I didn't remember a thing, except for Mrs. Robinson's leg in stockings -- which is probably just because it's such an iconic image.
In any case, tell us the books that you've read at least
n three times.
Thursday, 21 April, 2011
More About My Novel
I have some good news and bad news:
- Bad news: It was just a late April Fool's joke. If I wrote a novel, it would be much better than what I posted.
- Good news: The book is already available: The Inn at Angel Island, by Thomas Kinkade
I copied the excerpt from this page: Kinkade writes as well as he paints in new novel. Of the text I posted, only the first paragraph is from the novel. The remainder is from the reviewer's summary.
If I had done this on April Fool's day, everyone would have recognized it immediately as a joke. Only one person saw through my deception (Don Coyote, #14), and he didn't give it away. But it was fun!
Wednesday, 20 April, 2011
My First Novel
Last night, I wrote a few literary sentences in a comment (see #14, #18, and #19). It was my first attempt at non-Excel writing. It was basically a very, very short story. But it was well-received. Here are just a few of the follow-up comments:
- This is literary dark chocolate (>60% cacao)! Bravo, Mr. J-Walk! Bratislava!
- Have you ever considered entering a writing contest? You really should! I suggest the Bulwer-Lytton.
- You should write a novel, J-Walk. That's rather good. I can hardly wait for chapter 2.
With that kind of encouragement, I had no choice. So today I sought out my muse, and began writing my first novel. It's tough, grueling work, because I decided to use a manual typewriter like real novelists.
Here's what I have so far:
With her eyes closed against the sunlight and the rhythmic echo of the waves below in tune with her own heartbeat, Liza felt as if the entire world had very slowly come to a full stop. A sense of complete and utter calm filled her like a white light. She felt part of something larger, connected to the ocean waves and blue sky, the rocks and sand, the trees and birds. It was a rare and indescribable feeling. For the first time in a long time, she felt whole.
Liza wasn't sure exactly why she felt so completely cleansed and pure of thought. No more tangles of indecision. She was absolutely sure of one thing. She knew what she had to do.
A life-changing decision can cause turmoil in every part of daily life and Liza Martin had been in this spin for way too long. She had her life neatly planned after graduation from high school and college. She landed a job with Barkin & Care, one of the thriving Boston ad agencies. She worked her way up the corporate ladder and now this.
It was true that when she met the handsome, smart, Jeff, she knew she had met the man of her dreams. They were good together -- same values and ambitions.
And then she came home unexpected from a business trip and found Jeff and a lady friend in her own apartment having a cozy candlelight dinner.
I'll work on it some more tomorrow. The working title is "The Cottage At Devil's Island." It could be the first in a series. Maybe a movie or TV series.
Sunday, 17 April, 2011
For those who want to do a little reading: Hungarian Collector Shows off World's Smallest Library.
Jozsef Tari has been collecting miniature books since 1972, and is now the proud owner of over 4,500 literary works, including the world’s smallest book (2.9 x 3.2 mm).
A printer by trade, Tari has always been fascinated by the written word, and in 1972 he began collecting miniature books. Most of the items in his collection are in Hungarian, but he also has quite a few from the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Indonesia and Japan. Ironically, he only has a few books from the countries neighboring Hungary.
As far as topics are concerned, Jozsef Tari is interested in everything from religion to sports, literature and even cooking, but he only collects books that are 76 mm in size, or smaller. His collection features books that are over 100 years old, but his most prized miniature is the world’s smallest book – it measures only 2.9 x 3.2 millimeters and fits into a nutshell.
Tuesday, 12 April, 2011
Here are 20 Strange and Wonderful Books.
A short list of books that took me by surprise and then changed me, odd little books you may never have heard of. After several decades there are only a handful that stick out in this way. Some are truly wonderful and cry out to be shared. Others, frankly, aren't as good - but are genuinely strange.
But wait! Here are 20 Even Stranger and More Wonderful Books.
I downloaded one for the Kindle, a public domain novel called A Voyage to Arcturus (which has very favorable reviews).
Here's the description:
The strangest book on this list. Is it Calvinist mysticism, a sci-fi version of the Book of the Dead, Tolkien on acid, or a vivid dream about good vs. evil? Some people re-read this book every year and carry it next to their hearts. But most who reach the final page will say: Whoa. What was this guy smok'n?
I'm not much of a science fiction fan, but I'm curious to see just how strange it is.
Page 1 of 22 pages