A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘books

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

leave a comment »

  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres’ Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag’s proposal in 1917.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.
  • Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s utter failure to fit into Hollywood.
  • A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell’s blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.
  • io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia’s Lake Baikal.
  • Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe’s languages.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

leave a comment »

  • James Bow calls for an end to the US-Canada Safe Third Country agreement prohibiting people coming from American soil from claiming refugee status in Canada.
  • D-Brief reports on the vast array of man-made minerals appearing in what is now being called the Anthropocene Era of Earth.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the efforts of the Disco Preservation Society to preserve DJ mixes from 1980s San Francisco.
  • Language Log takes issue with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s argument that cryptographers, not linguists, would be needed in Arrival.
  • The LRB Blog notes impunity for murderers of civil society activists in Honduras.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen talks about Joyce Gladwell’s autobiography Brown Face, Big Master.
  • The NYRB Daily celebrates the work of Hercules Segers.
  • The Planetary Society Blog is skeptical of the Space X plan to send tourists past the Moon by 2018.
  • Supernova Condensate lists 8 things we know about Proxima Centauri b.
  • Towleroad reports on new walking tours being offered of gay London.
  • Arnold Zwicky engages with a California exhibition comparing paintings with movies.

[URBAN NOTE] “How six undergrads saved U of T’s rare books”

The Toronto Star‘s Ellen Brait reports on how first-year engineering students at the University of Toronto came up with a solution to save the books of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

When 750,000 volumes of rare books are imperiled by condensation, it’s time to think outside the building.

Since at least 2004, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library – which houses books including all four of Shakespeare’s folios and a papyrus from the time of Christ – has had a condensation problem. The insulation inside the library has been slowly degrading and condensation has been building up, according to Loryl MacDonald, interim director of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. This also resulted in fluctuations in the temperature, something that can be detrimental to books that need climate controlled environments.

“Over time with those types of conditions mould can grow and affect some of the rare books,” said MacDonald.

The library consulted numerous architecture firms and was told the same thing again and again: construction had to be done in the interior. This would require the books, some of which are in fragile condition, to be moved and the library to be temporarily closed.

Desperate for a different solution, John Toyonaga, manager of the Bindery for the library, saw an ad for a first year problem-solving engineering class and decided to throw the library’s problem into the mix.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[CAT] Shakespeare and Caitians

Shakespeare, and Caitians #toronto #shakespeare #cats #catsofinstagram #caturday startrek #caitians #worldsofthefederation

Shakespeare, here, is photographed in front of my copy of the venerable 1989 Star Trek reference book Worlds of the Federation, in front of the entry describing the felinoid species of Caitians introduced in the 1970s animated series.

A guy can dream, after all: Why not cats?

Written by Randy McDonald

February 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “There’s a black market for stolen books in Toronto, apparently”

CBC News’ Ali Chiasson reports on Toronto’s trade in stolen books.

Japanese author Haruki Murakami may be known worldwide for novels that straddle the border between the dreamworld and reality.

But in Toronto he’s better known as the most popular author among literary thieves, at least according to the city’s bookstore owners.

An entire shelf dedicated to Murakami books disappeared in December at the Roncesvalles store A Good Read.

“I lost $800 the last two times this guy hit me,” owner Gary Kir told CBC Toronto. “They’re very easily converted into cash, because they’re very high in demand and they don’t turn up that often used.”

[. . .]

Derek McCormack has worked at bookstores in Toronto for 25 years and says the most shoplifted names come and go in waves.

“It used to be all the beats,” said McCormack, of Type Books on Queen Street West. “Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Then it became [Vladimir] Nabokov by far — you couldn’t keep Lolita on the shelf.”

Written by Randy McDonald

January 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Apostrophen’s ‘Nathan Smith writes about what he has learned from his huskie.
  • Bad Astronomy shares some gorgeous Cassini images of Saturn’s polar hexagon.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at L2 Puppis, a red giant star that our own sun will come to resemble.
  • D-Brief notes climate change is starting to hit eastern Antarctica, the more stable region of the continent.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some of the cool pins put out by supporters of LGBT rights over the decades.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at Susan Faludi’s account of her life with her newly trans father.
  • Far Outliers examines the War of American Independence as one of the many Anglo-French global wars.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders why the Los Angeles Times allowed the publication of letters defend the deportation of the Japanese-Americans.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Alex Tabarrok argues that we are now moving beyond meat production.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at Mexico as a seedbed of modernism.
  • Savage Minds shares an article arguing for a decentering of the position of human beings at the interface of anthropology and science.
  • Understanding Society has more on the strange and fundamentally alien nature of the cephalopod mind.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the North Caucasus is set to go through austerity.

[AH] “Days of future past: Science fiction anthology to explore Canada’s alternative realities”

Author Hayden Trenholm‘s proposed 49th Parallels anthology dealing with Canada-relevant alternate histories with points of divergence after 1867, sounds fascinating. Metro News‘s Haley Ritchie had an enlightening interview with Trenholm on the subject.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier said the 20th century would belong to Canada – to be fair, it didn’t quite turn out that way, but what if it had?

In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Bundoran Press Publishing House is planning a science fiction anthology exploring alternative histories and futures – what would have happened if the country took a very different turn.

[. . .]

Trenholm’s anthology, titled 49th Parallels, will be filled with short stories by authors across Canada exploring unexpected twists in the country’s history and future.

Trenholm is crowdfunding on IndieGoGo to raise some extra money to better pay writers. So far he’s raised around $1200 for the project, which will be published in fall 2017.

The writers submitting to the anthology will have 150 years to choose from to warp history – including the invention of penicillin, the first radio transmission across the ocean or even confederation.

“The real purpose of doing that is of course to turn a mirror on the society we now have,” said Trenholm. “People tend to think that the way things are is the way things had to be – but of course that’s not true.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm