The Collections of Kathmandu

from The Kathmandu Post

Hard to get



– The rare book business is expanding in Kathmandu. But the sellers do not want to divulge much information, because they don’t want their competitors to know their trade secrets. So it’s a difficult task finding out what really goes on in this sector. It is difficult to find out who is engaged in the business. If we google the rare book market in Nepal, chances are only Pilgrims Book House will come up. But there are quite a few other traders, who prefer to keep a low profile.


Rare book sellers are quite rare in Kathmandu. And they don’t only deal in hard-to-find books. They keep all the popular titles in stock, as rare books account for only a small portion of their business. Many booksellers believe that Pilgrims started the rare book business some time in the mid-1980s. Nagendra Singh and Kiran Ghimire once worked as managers at Pilgrims. They were there for about 10 years. After learning the techniques of the book trade, they started out on their own and set up Vision Books and Sagun Books respectively. Both offer second-hand and rare books. Vajra Books also sells rare books on mountaineering. Its owner Vidur Dongol used to work for Mandala Book Point.According to Pilgrims, it holds about 3,000 rare titles on subjects like religion, philosophy, Asian studies, Sikkim, Tibet, social science and Nepal.

click to continue reading at The Kathmandu Post ]

Butt Of Shotgun Selected As Discipline of Choice For Statutory Rape Among Friends

from the Daily Commercial

Father won’t be charged for striking man having sex with daughter

MILLARD K. IVES, Staff Writer

WILDWOOD — A father who attacked his 37-year-old best friend and roommate with the butt of a shotgun after finding him having sex with his 16-year-old daughter will not be charged in the attack.

Officials with the State Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against the Wildwood father in the attack that sent the 37-year-old man and roommate to Leesburg Regional Medical Center with head injuries.

Bill Gladson, a supervisor with the State Attorney’s Office, said the father had the right to use reasonable force to prevent his daughter from becoming the victim of a sex crime.

The 37-year-old also had signed a waiver at the hospital, stating he didn’t want the father charged, according to Wildwood police.

“He didn’t want to cooperate as far as filing charges against his best friend,” said Wildwood police Sgt. Russell Poitevent.

The 37-year-old was arrested on seven counts of unlawful activity and sex with a minor after leaving the hospital on Aug. 24.

Wildwood police said when the father came into the home, he grabbed the first thing he saw — the shotgun. Poitevent said the father knew the gun was unloaded and didn’t try to shoot his friend, but did strike the man hard enough to send him to the hospital.

Police said after striking the man with the gun, the father pinned him down until police arrived.

The father was taken into custody, questioned and released.

[ click to read full article at ]

Mo’ Fixie Fixie

from The Washington Post

Look Ma, No Brakes!

Stripped-Down Fixies Have Long Been The Bike of Choice Among Couriers. Now, Hip Urbanites Have Gotten the Message.
By David Montgomery

What a profile they cut, slicing through the city: gorgeous, exotic, dangerous. You see them parked like emaciated steeds outside the coolest clubs.

They don’t make much sense, yet for one more fleeting season at least, they are the rage in certain circles. Sort of dumb and super hip: the twin characteristics of many things in life.

We are talking about a bicycle. A very special kind of road bicycle, called a fixed-gear bike, or fixie for short.

A fixie has one speed, which makes it difficult to pedal uphill. A classic fixie has no brakes, which makes it difficult to slow on the downhill. A fixie has no freewheel, the part that makes coasting possible. Instead, the chain directly drives the rotation of the rear wheel, which means the pedals always turn while the bike moves.

What else do they have going for them?

Well, fixies are impractical, perverse throwbacks to a time more than a century ago, before the invention of the derailleur and the Tour de France, when the bicycle chain and the pneumatic tube were novelties, and the high-wheel penny-farthing “ordinary” bicycle had just been eclipsed by the chain-driven “safety” bike.

And yet despite all that — or is it because of all that? — a fixie manages the neat trick of simultaneously communicating taste and rebellion.

To each his own bicycle, in a town where bicycling is an ever-expanding religion, with many rival sects. But a fixie? Speak to us, pilgrims.

Jason Stevenson was one of Washington’s earliest fixie converts. He remembers the first time he saw one. It was the leanest machine he had ever seen, a contraption almost completely unknown in Washington. He was spellbound.

“So clean, so fluid. I just had to have one,” he says. “I was like, whatever bike that is, I want to ride something like that.”

The year was 1993, and Stevenson was a bike messenger, as he is now.

He knew of only three messengers riding fixies then. Washington was a little behind the curve. Some date the dawn of fixie chic to the 1986 movie “Quicksilver,” starring Kevin Bacon, which glorified fixie-riding messengers in New York.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Pot Of Bulbous Bile Found At End Of Reading Rainbow

from The Onion

My Living Nightmare Of Encouraging Kids To Read Is Over


Thank god.

After 26 long years, I can finally rest easy. Twenty-six years I spent standing in front of a camera, gritting my teeth, and shilling the latest works of every hack children’s book author imaginable. For 26 years, I’ve told kids they could open a magical door to another world just by reading a book, when the only door it ever opened for me led to a soul-sucking career in the horrifying abyss of public television.

But now, at last, it is over. I don’t have to lie anymore. I don’t have to live that nightmare.

When the news came that Reading Rainbow would be canceled due to a lack of funding, I felt—well, to use a cliché like you’d find in one of the hundreds of books I pimped endlessly—like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Every day I went to work hoping that maybe the studio had burned down, that maybe the program had been cut, that maybe PBS would finally stop squeezing the life from me drop by drop. Now that it’s over, I feel the relief a bruised and broken soldier must feel when he is rescued after rotting away for decades in some dank, forgotten POW camp.

May that godforsaken show burn in hell.

[ click to continue reading at The Onion ]

“Incest, bestiality and physical violence is still shocking readers more than 80 years after it was banned in the United States”

Subject line from the Abilene Reporter News,  Story from TEXAS READS


By Glenn Dromgoole

 The Texas literary mystery “Whatever Happened to Gertrude Beasley?” has been solved. Sort of.

Edna Gertrude Beasley — who graduated from Simmons College in Abilene in 1914, taught school in West Texas and Chicago, and traveled the world as a journalist — wrote a provocative autobiography published in Paris in 1925, “My First Thirty Years.”

The graphic language and content of the book resulted in it being banned in England despite a positive review by one of America’s best-known critics, H. L. Mencken, who called it “the first genuinely realistic picture of the Southern poor white trash.”

“Thirty years ago,” the book began, “I lay in the womb of a woman, conceived in a sexual act of rape, being carried during the prenatal period by an unwilling and rebellious mother, finally bursting from the womb only to be tormented in a family whose members I despised or pitied ”

She went on to tell how one of her first memories was her 16-year-old brother pressing down on top of her trying to rape her when she was 4, among other gruesome, explicit and lurid details.

In early 1928, at age 35, Gertrude Beasley vanished, as far as anyone knew. No one had been able to trace her whereabouts since.

Many have tried, including novelist Larry McMurtry, Texas literature authority Don Graham and author Bert Almon, all of whom have written about Beasley over the years. Actress Veronica Russell performed a 90-minute one-woman off-Broadway show in New York four years ago based on Beasley’s book.

[ click to continue at TEXAS READS ]

More 4

from The Medina Gazette

Local man’s novel hits the big time

By: Lisa Hlavinka

The movie rights were sold before a Spencer Township native’s novel even hit store shelves.

jobiehughes.jpgSteven Spielberg and Michael Bay picked up the rights to Black River High School graduate Jobie Hughes’ young adult novel, “I Am Number Four,” on June 26. The novel does not come out until September 2010.

Spielberg and Bay were not the only ones interested in the novel. Represented by Beverly Hills-based Endeavor Talent Agency, Hughes said there was a bidding war between Spielberg and Bay and producer J.J. Abrams for rights to the story.“They bought the rights to an unpublished book … before we had interest in the book, the movie rights were done and sold,” said Hughes, 29, who grew up in the township and now resides in New York City. “Usually it’s always done the other way around.”

Now, DreamWorks LLC, a film studio co-founded by Spielberg, anticipates the film to be out in July 2011.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Hughes said via phone Sunday.

Before the Hollywood glamour, however, came the task of writing “I Am Number Four.”

Hughes has a co-author, James Frey, who wrote the memoir, “A Million Little Pieces.”

Hughes Hughes did not name Frey specifically, he said, because the partnership was originally supposed to be secret. However, other media have named Frey as the co-author of the book.

[ click to continue reading at The Medina Gazette ]

“Millas’s surgery did not go well. His penis became gangrenous.”

from the Miami New Times

Dude, Where’s My Schlong?

A Coral Gables man loses his penis and fights back in court

By Gus Garcia-Roberts

Medical malpractice litigation tends to put a price on human body parts. Got your spleen punctured during a messy surgery? Here’s a few thousand for your pain and suffering. Lost a big toe? That’s six-figure territory. A recklessly amputated arm might net you a million bucks.

We may soon find out what a penis is worth.

Behold the plight of 62-year-old Coral Gables resident Enrique Millas. All the poor guy ever wanted to do was have sex with his wife of 25 years, Gloria. But he couldn’t. So he went to local penis guru Paul E. Perito, a urologist who touts himself as a national leader in penile implant surgery. And here our story swerves into Saw-caliber horror territory.

Even when everything goes right, Perito’s surgery is not for the faint of heart. The penile implant is a bendable silicone rod that looks something like an orchestra conductor’s baton. After the operation, which involves stitches, “swelling,” and “bruising,” according to the doctor’s website, patients “should keep their penis against the abdomen for three days with the supplied scrotal support.” The patient will never be flaccid again — even at Thanksgiving dinner: “The implant leaves the penis in the erect state at all times, and the patient positions the penis for his comfort or activity.”

Anybody else having flashbacks to eighth-grade history class?

Millas’s surgery did not go well. His penis became gangrenous, and after thwarted surgeries to save it, Perito removed the battered organ.

[ click to continue reading at the Miami New Times ]

Yeah Yeah Yeah Go Tell It To The Glass-pack

from the Los Angeles Times

Hog days of summer

Forget ‘Born to Be Wild.’ All those overaged ‘Easy Rider’ types need to put the mufflers back on their bikes.

By John Johnson Jr.

Summer is ending, and not a moment too soon.

In my seaside Long Beach neighborhood, the warm months used to be a time when residents threw open windows to let in the sound of surf and the fragrance of suntan lotion from the roller-bladers on the bike path. But open windows are no longer an option.

Summer has become the season of the cacophonous roar, a time when phalanxes of motorcycles head for the beach cities, piloted by black-helmeted, big-bellied men who think “Easy Rider” was about them. During the week, they may be accountants or car dealers. On the weekend, they are Captain America and Billy, setting out on their own private spiritual — and noisy — journeys.

Visit any coastal community or travel mountain roads on a summer weekend and you will see them: desktop rebels rumbling along in vast, growling herds. Not satisfied with the feel of the wind on their faces, these guys aren’t happy unless heads are turning and ears are bleeding. In my building, neighbors have to stop talking with guests when one roars by.

As I researched this topic, I discovered I was not alone in my outrage. Indignation abounds on the Internet — along with alarming information. One website reported that 45% of motorcycles have been illegally modified to make them louder. The California Air Resources Board puts the number even higher, at about 85%, while a biking industry group says it’s closer to 40%. Whatever, it’s a huge number of people who have deliberately made their bikes more annoying.

[ click to continue reading at the LA Times ]

US Poetry Goes Abroad

from The Guardian UK

US poetry greats to reach Arabic audience

New Arabic anthology from Abu Dhabi-based project, Kalima, to include poems from 15 US poets, including Anne Sexton, Charles Bukowski and Sylvia Plath

by Alison Flood

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath is one of 15 US poets due to appear in a new Arabic anthology.

The cream of modern American poetry, from Sylvia Plath to Charles Simic, is to be translated into Arabic as part of a project to widen the Arabic world’s access to foreign literature.

Fifteen American poets, also including Charles Bukowski, Robert Bly, Anne Sexton, Ted Kooser and Langston Hughes, have been selected by the Abu Dhabi-based project, Kalima – “word” in Arabic – to be included in a new Arabic anthology. “There is a real shortage of American poetry translated into Arabic, which is why we decided to do this,” said a spokesperson for the project.

Over 1000 poems are being translated for the anthology, including Bukowski’s “Love is a Dog from Hell”, Dorianne Laux’s “In a Room with a Rag in My Hand”, Simic’s “Return to a Place Lit by a Glass of Milk” and Hughes’s “I, Too, Sing America”. “I am the darker brother,” writes Hughes. “They send me to eat in the kitchen / When company comes, / But I laugh, / And eat well, / And grow strong.”

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

The Infuriating Françoise Nielly

from The Coolhunter

Françoise Nielly’s massive, colorful portraits are delicious to look at. Even more wonderful – and particularly infuriating to those of us who have timidly dabbled in painting – is to watch her create them. In a beautiful video posted on her site, she, in her confident, strong hand, wields her painting knife shaped like a miniature garden trowel, and makes painting look easy like cake frosting. She paints her vivid, passionate canvases — some as large as 78 x 25 inches (195 x 62 centimeters) — from black-and-white photos, further proof of her unfailing ability to interpret light, shadow, hue and tone by applying brilliant colors and daring strokes.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Bad Seed Reads

from the New York Observer

Nick Cave Shaves! Rock Snob Reads Raunchy Passage From New Novel

By Joe Pompeo

If there is one man in the rock-snob canon who can rattle off a series of filthy expletives without sounding anything less than utterly eloquent and polite, it is Nick Cave.

On the evening of Monday, Sept. 14, the 51-year-old Mr. Cave, best known for his role as the sinister singer-songwriter of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was sitting crossed-legged on a small stage on the fourth floor of the Union Square Barnes & Noble, doing an interview with the journalist Katherine Lanpher—former sidekick to Al Franken on Air America Radio. He had come to read from his new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro ($25, Faber and Faber), which tells the dark and deranged tale of an insatiably horny traveling cosmetics salesman in the south of England who, following his wife’s suicide, takes his 9-year-old son out on the road.

[ click to continue reading at the Observer ]

The Hideout On The Block

from CBS News

Chicago Mobster Al Capone’s Wis. Hideout For Sale

Auction Set For Chicago Mobster Al Capone’s Sprawling Wis. Hideout, Stone House, Guard Towers

(AP)  The buyer of a scenic property in northern Wisconsin will get more than just its bar and restaurant: They’ll have a former hideout of Chicago mobster Al Capone.

The 407-acre wooded site, complete with guard towers and a stone house with 18-inch-thick walls, will soon go on the auction block at a starting bid of $2.6 million.

The bank that foreclosed on the land near Couderay, about 140 miles northeast of Minneapolis, said Capone owned it in the late 1920s and early 1930s during Prohibition. Local legend claims that shipments of bootlegged alcohol were flown in on planes that landed on the property’s 37-acre lake, then loaded onto trucks bound for Chicago.

“He spent a lot of time there,” Chippewa Valley Bank Vice President Joe Kinnear said. “Whether it was for getting whiskey out of Canada or whoever knows. It is an incredible property.”

The property was more recently used as a tourist attraction. It includes Capone’s two-story stone home with a massive fireplace, two guard towers _ reportedly manned with machine guns whenever Capone visited _ a caretakers residence and other outbuildings.

Kinnear said the bar on the property was built from what was originally Capone’s eight-stall garage and still includes some portholes built to shoot through.

“It’s pretty neat,” he said.

[ click to continue reading at CBS News ]