When you tire of the Olympics… → The Microsoft Office World Championships Feature Blood, Tears, and Very Little Sweat
“The world is much better than it has ever been, as evidenced by the following economic data visualized by Max Roser at University of Oxford.” → Here’s Proof that the World Isn’t the Hellhole It Feels Like
We’ve described how we treat books; now let’s consider how we read them.
When it comes to reading we grant ourselves every right in the book, including those we withhold from the young people we claim to be teaching.
- The right not to read.
- The right to skip pages.
- The right not to finish a book.
- The right to reread.
- The right to read anything.
- The right to escapism.
- The right to read anywhere.
- The right to browse.
- The right to read aloud.
- The right not to defend your tastes.
I’ll stop at ten. A nice round figure, that also happens to be the sacred number of the famous Commandments. Except this is a list of things you can do.
—from Better Than Life
scrivello /skri-VEL-oh/. noun. A small elephant tusk weighing “less than 20 lb,” according to the OED or “of a small size commonly used for making billiard balls” by Merriam-Webster. Likely from the Portuguese, a variant of escaravelho (pin, peg).
- It’s been a week of maps. Here are some for you to explore. Jerry Gretzinger has spent 30 years mapping the imaginary country of Ukrainia in over 3000 8×10 panels. Back in the real, old world, Old Maps Online indexes more than 400,000 historical maps in libraries around the world. Courtesy of Cornell Library, a collection of “persuasive” cartography, or maps “intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs.” And a map burning up social media with its perfect combination of hilarious and absolutely unsupported research, What Cost is each State Obsessed with.
Learn to fold an origami elephant, help set a record and support a good cause. → #ElephantOrigamiChallenge
“The three lost worlds feature beautiful scenery, moving music, and are inspired by Percy Shelley’s Ozymandias, Lord Byron’s Darkness, and John Keats’ When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be.” → Experimental Game Turns Players into Poets and Writers
Following a link from a few years ago to PDF editions of Paul Klee’s two Selected Notebooks, now you can browse all 3,900+ pages of Klee’s notebooks online.
Slow cooking. Slow computing. Slow reading. Slow living. Slow TV seems inevitable. → Netflix’s newest show for binge-watching is a real-time knitting marathon
Cecilia Levy’s paper art…remarkably delicate art made from old books.
I want to live there. → Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries.
Take a moment to marvel at the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners and honorable mentions.
Today in 1934, in United States v. One Book Entitled Ulysses by James Joyce, U.S. Appeals Court judges Learned Hand and Augustus Hand (cousins and a story in their own right: Augustus had a hand in some of the court’s most famous rulings on censorship and contraceptives, while Learned is the most frequently cited lower-court judge in Supreme Court history) rule that Joyce’s famous novel was not obscene or libidinous and therefore not pornographic. The ruling makes for interesting reading. Really. A bit of the flavor:
“The net effect even of portions most open to attack, such as the closing monologue of the wife of Leopold Bloom, is pitiful and tragic, rather than lustful. The book depicts the souls of men and women that are by turns bewildered and keenly apprehensive, sordid and aspiring, ugly and beautiful, hateful and loving. In the end one feels, more than anything else, pity and sorrow for the confusion, misery, and degradation of humanity. Page after page of the book is, or seems to be, incomprehensible. But many passages show the trained hand of an artist, who can at one moment adapt to perfection the style of an ancient chronicler, and at another become a veritable personification of Thomas Carlyle. In numerous places there are found originality, beauty, and distinction […] Indeed, it may be questioned whether the obscene passages in Romeo and Juliet were as necessary to the development of the play as those in the monologue of Mrs. Bloom are to the depiction of the latter’s tortured soul.”