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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘bookstores

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of rings around a distant galaxy’s central black hole.
  • Inspired by Finland’s Olympic team, the Toronto Public Library’s The Buzz shares some interesting books on knitting and for knitters.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the surprising news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies actually have the same mass. This changes everything about what was thought about the future of the Local Group. D-Brief also reports on this news.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the conversion of tobacco fields into solar farms is not just potentially life-saving but economically viable, too.
  • Language Hat rounds up links relevant to the discovery, by field linguists, of the Malaysian language of Jedek.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a story from Lucy Ferris of Paris of old and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the privatization of military officers’ housing in the United Kingdom was another disaster.
  • Marginal Revolution considers if Los Angeles is the most right-wing major American city, and what that actually means.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, even in the face of subsidence in Groningen around gas fields and cheap wind energy, even the Netherlands is not moving away from oil and gas.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on porn star/actor Chris Harder and his new show, Porn To Be A Star. (NSFW.)
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the factors which distinguish a good scientific theory from a bad one.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a decent argument that the politicized pop culture fandom around supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not good for the future of jurisprudence.
  • John Scalzi, at Whatever, reviews the new Pixel Buds from Google.
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[PHOTO] Seven photos from Amazon Books on West 34th Street, NYC (@amazonbooks)

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One place in New York City that I was very curious to see was an Amazon Books, most specifically the chain’s newest New York City location (opened in August of last year) on West 34th Street opposite the Empire State Building. I have been an intermittent customer of Amazon for almost fifteen years. What would a bricks-and-mortar location look like, especially one wholly Amazon in origin and not a recently bought chain with an established identity like Whole Foods?

It turns out that it looks a lot like an established high-end bookstore. All the books were facing out, with no spines that I could see, each book being classified not only by genre but by online ratings. The electronics section was large and abundant, with plenty of Kindles and Alexas on display. This translation of the online bookstore into the physical world seemed pretty faithful, actually. The store’s most visible problem to me is that its paper shopping bags dissolve far too quickly in the rain.

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Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2018 at 9:30 am

[URBAN NOTE] Seven New York City links

This extended feature from The New York Times makes the case that New York City’s subway system desperately needs the massive funding it needs, else the city itself start to fall apart. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/magazine/subway-new-york-city-public-transportation-wealth-inequality.html

A New York City plan to divest from companies that could be assigned responsibility for climate change and sea level rise is certainly a provocative idea. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/10/new-york-city-plans-to-divest-5bn-from-fossil-fuels-and-sue-oil-companies

The NYR Daily celebrates the life of Fred Bass, the man who built The Strand bookstore in downtown Manhattan. I visited Monday; his life’s work remains a success. http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/01/04/fred-bass-maestro-of-the-strand/

Kim Stanley Robinson’s thoughts on New York City are worth sharing. (The passage in _2312_ where his protagonist went up the Hudson by a flooded Manhattan _was_ one of the best parts of that book, to provide an example other than this novel he wrote.) https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43d39m/sci-fi-author-kim-stanley-robinson-talks-about-new-york-2140

I have to admit to quite liking the Met’s ideal of potentially free admission for all, though I suppose that if this gorgeous museum needs the funding … https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/arts/design/the-met-should-be-open-to-all-the-new-pay-policy-is-a-mistake.html

Former TTC chief Andy Byford is now in New York City, overseeing the MTA. I wish him luck. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/01/16/torontos-ex-transit-boss-andy-byford-rides-subway-on-first-day-of-new-new-york-city-job.html

The traffic safety program of the city of Toronto remains vastly underfunded compared to that of New York City. http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2018/01/16/while-new-york-city-s-vision-zero-results-are-lauded-toronto-s-have-been-lacklustre.html

[PHOTO] Twelve photos of the last day of Eliot’s Bookshop (#eliotsbookshop)

Written by Randy McDonald

December 31, 2017 at 11:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: TTC and Uber, Eliot’s, Sidewalk Labs, Lia Denbok, Michael Redhill

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the remarkably enduring supernova iPTF14hls, which seems to have attained its longevity through massive amounts of antimatter.
  • blogTO notes plans for the construction of a new public square in Chinatown, on Huron Street.
  • James Bow shares a short story of his, set in a future where everyone has a guaranteed minimum income but few have a job.
  • A poster at Crasstalk shares a nostalgic story about long-lost summers as a child in Albuquerque in the 1960s.
  • Bruce Dorminey reports on Universe, a beautiful book concerned with the history of astronomical imagery.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog explores the latent and manifest functions of education for job-seekers.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel talks about the Red Terror imposed by Lenin in 1918, and its foreshadowing of the future of the Soviet Union.
  • Language Hat links to a lovely analysis of a Tang Chinese poem, “On the Frontier.”
  • Language Log notes how the name of Chinese food “congee” ultimately has origins in Dravidian languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes note of the suspicious timing of links between the Trump family and Wikileaks.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen recounts his visit to an Amazon bookstore, and what he found lacking (or found good).
  • The NYR Daily notes the continuing controversy over the bells of the church of Balangiga, in the Philippines, taken as booty in 1901 by American forces and not returned.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders why Canadian incomes and productivity have historically been 20-30% lower than those of the United States, and why incomes have lately caught up.
  • Roads and Kingdoms considers the simple pleasures of an egg and cracker snack in the Faroe Islands.
  • Strange Company considers the bizarre 1910 murder of Massachusetts lawyer William Lowe Rice.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes an Australian publisher that suspended publication of a book in Australia for fear of negative reaction from China.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares some photos of his orchids, blooming early because of warm temperatures.

[URBAN NOTE] Three Toronto links: 698 Spadina, free museums, cleaner transport

  • Will 698 Spadina Avenue be torn down for new U of T student housing? blogTO reports.
  • A variety of Toronto museums are going to be offering free admission until November 30th. Inside Toronto reports.
  • There are good public health initiatives for Toronto to move to cleaner transportation technologies. The Toronto Star reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 28, 2017 at 4:30 pm