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Happy New Year


Posted on December 31, 2009 by Editor

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Suzan Pitt’s ‘ASPARAGUS’ finally on YouTube

One of the greatest animated shorts ever.

Part 1

Part 2

Posted on December 30, 2009 by Editor

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Zsa Zsa & The Eunuchs

from the NY Daily News

Sweatin’ with the stars! Celebrity workout videos

Socialite septuagenarian Zsa Zsa Gabor gets some workout help from a couple of beefcakes in her 1993 workout video, 'It's Simple, Darling.'  <br><br> Our take? Gabor's routines will have you in a slightly queasy cold sweat before they'll make you break an honest  sweat. Consider: one

[ click for full slideshow at ]

Posted on December 29, 2009 by Editor

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Merry Belated Christmas from Al & Old School Ministry

Posted on December 29, 2009 by Editor

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“To grasp the total picture would make you wish you could go back to 1960 when things were a bit slower, almost like the Dark Ages.”

from the LA Times

Making art in the now world

By John Lopez

“What it means to be an artist today — where do we start on that one?” muses Ed Ruscha, almost nonplused. Finally, the soft-spoken art veteran decides : “It means facing a lot of information that’s going to be very difficult to take in and swallow because there’s so much of it.”

Once the ramifications settle in, he slyly drawls, “to grasp the total picture would make you wish you could go back to 1960 when things were a bit slower, almost like the Dark Ages.”

That dizziness finds a counterpoint with fledgling film director Michael Mohan on a cold December night in Westwood. His youthful exuberance contrasts with Ruscha’s measured bemusement: “It’s not like it’s going to be crazy; it is crazy, right now.”

Mohan has reason to be excited. His first feature, “One Too Many Mornings,” about two twentysomething guys who reignite their high school friendship, which he shot over two years’ worth of nights and weekends with a budget well under $50,000, will play the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in a new category dedicated to low-to-no-budget filmmakers.

Where Ruscha recoils at the opened floodgates of the Information Age, Mohan gushes: “There’s an audience for everything . . . if you say I want to express myself and people will see it, yes, that’s what in 2010 you can do.”

[ continue reading at the LA Times ]

Posted on December 28, 2009 by Editor

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Nothing Finer Than A Nice Tight Shave

from The Coolhunter

Murdock Barbershop – London

Many old concepts are best left in the past, but not the barbershop. Brendan Murdock believed this statement so strongly that in May 2006, he opened Murdock, an upscale, traditional barbershop on Old Street in the funky design district of Shoreditch in East London. Murdock was right, of course…. He now focuses solely on all aspects of his shaving emporiums that offer the traditional wet shave, haircuts, manicures and facials.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 27, 2009 by Editor

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The Star Wars Holiday Special: “To this day, parts of George Lucas sizzle and fall off if you mention it near him.”


The 7 Most Baffling Moments in the Star Wars Holiday Special

by seanbaby

The Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast on TV in 1978 as a fine-print stipulation to the fiddle contest that George Lucas lost to the devil. It was terrible in every possible direction. If Hitler forced aliens to put on a variety show at gunpoint, you’d feel more comfortable watching it. To this day, parts of George Lucas sizzle and fall off if you mention it near him. Famous little person Warwick Davis actually started as a section of George Lucas that screamed and detached itself when the special first aired. And since that day, it has never been shown or legally distributed.

I’d like to take a look back at the different segments that came together to make this one of history’s worst anythings ever. There are two things to look out for in each one. The first is Actor Indifference. Nearly all of principle actors from the film are here, and none of them are good enough at their job to hide how much they hate that fact. Harrison Ford in particular will read the lines but you can kiss his ass if you think he’s going to try. If Kanye West’s agent booked him on Hee Haw, he’d perform with more enthusiasm.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 27, 2009 by Editor

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Art For Hacks

from The New York Times

Soon You Can Hail an Artist as You Hail a Cab

Those moving advertisements atop taxis generally deliver not-so-subtle messages, like which airlines to fly or movies to see, who makes the sexiest blue jeans or the coolest sunglasses.

High art they most certainly are not.

But for the month of January, Show Media, a Las Vegas company that owns about half the cones adorning New York City’s taxis, has decided to give commerce a rest. Instead, roughly 500 cabs will display a different kind of message: artworks by Shirin Neshat, Alex Katz and Yoko Ono.

The project is costing Show Media about $100,000 in lost revenue, but John Amato, one of Show’s owners and a contemporary-art fan, said: “I thought it was time to take a step back. January’s a slow month. I could have cut my rates but instead I decided to hit the mute button and give something back to the city.”

He contacted the Art Production Fund, a nonprofit New York organization that presents art around the city, and asked its co-founders, Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen, to select artists. They in turn sought out Ms. Neshat, Mr. Katz and Ms. Ono, three New Yorkers known for work that can read both conceptually and physically in a confined space. (The ads measure just 14 by 48 inches.)

The project is called “Art Adds,” not just as a play on its advertising origins but also, Ms. Villareal said, because “art adds to the public’s vision.”

[ click to continue reading at the NY Times ]

Posted on December 27, 2009 by Editor

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Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

from The Arizona Republic

Michael McNamara/The Arizona Republic

1 box red velvet cake mix, with ingredients specified on the box
1/2 cup flour
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
8 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare mix as instructed, blending in an additional  1/2 cup flour. Pour mixture into zip-top bag and cut off one corner of the bag to create a small hole. Squeeze dough onto greased cookie sheets in tablespoon-size portions. They should be shaped slightly like Hershey’s Kisses. Allow 2 inches between each one. Bake 6-8 minutes. Do not over-bake; you want a cakelike texture. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Cream-cheese filling:
Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth, gradually add powder sugar  1/2 cup at a time. Add vanilla after the first cup of sugar is blended.

[ click to continue adding sugar at The Arizona Republic ]

Posted on December 26, 2009 by Editor

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The Man With The Sports Machine Gone

from The Washington Post

George Michael, famed D.C. sportscaster, dies of cancer
By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 25, 2009; A01

Sports Machine logo lifted from RetroJunk.comGeorge Michael, 70, a high-rated and hyperanimated Washington sportscaster whose extensive use of game highlights from across the country on his nationally syndicated show has now become the norm in the industry, died Thursday at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Mr. Michael was a popular rock-and-roll DJ in Philadelphia and New York before making a successful transition to television, where his boisterous style and unremitting hustle made him one of the dominant personalities in Washington for years. He represented sports as entertainment, with what some regarded as a team-friendly approach, especially to the hometown Redskins.

Starting in 1980, Mr. Michael oversaw a trendsetting show that made liberal use of action highlights from games in addition to interviews and other reports. “The George Michael Sports Machine,” as it was eventually called, was syndicated to almost 200 stations at its peak.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 25, 2009 by Editor

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Eagle Wins, Deer Loses

Posted on December 24, 2009 by JK

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Beef Wellington For Christ

from The Arizona Republic

Beef Wellington impresses at the holiday dinner table

by Karen Fernau 

Not all Christmas gifts come wrapped in paper and tied with fancy bows.

Beef Wellington, luxury beef tenderloin coated with pate and duxelles, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked, is a traditional gift to give family and friends at any holiday table.

The dish named for Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, is a show-stopping alternative to prime rib, goose, turkey or ham.

“The best way to make a holiday meal special is to use special foods, and present them beautifully. Wellington is both. It’s traditional and elegant at the same time,” said chef Jacques Qualin at J&G Steakhouse in Phoenix.

For more impact, Qualin suggests molding the puff pastry to create flowers or other holiday decorations. Simply use a knife and your hands to mold the pastry into art just prior to baking.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 23, 2009 by Editor

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Because the night, belongs to lovers…

from the New York Times

A Legend as Muse: Patti Smith Fills Role

LOS ANGELES — There was a time, a decade ago, Patti Smith said, that she did not want to make a film about herself.

“To me the idea seems sort of conceited,” she said in an interview. “I felt, even though I was 50 years old at the time, too young to do a documentary. I hadn’t done enough work yet to merit a documentary.”

It turns out that being followed around by a camera for more than a decade can help one overcome shyness. On Dec. 30, Ms. Smith’s 63rd birthday,PBS will broadcast “Patti Smith: Dream of Life,” a documentary filmed over 11 years by the fashion photographer and film neophyte Steven Sebring.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 23, 2009 by Editor

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Iris’s Pin Up Paradise

Posted on December 21, 2009 by Editor

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Face Cream v. Beer

I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Molson Canadian for $24.95.

Instead, she bought a jar of face cream for $17.95.

I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the face

And that’s when the fight started.

Posted on December 20, 2009 by JK

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Heaven Can Wait (Beck & Charlotte Gainsbourg)

Posted on December 19, 2009 by Editor

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Producer-provocateur Joe Papp and the theatrical ruckus that ensued

from The LA Times

‘Free for All’ by Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp

Joe Papp brought theater to the masses, earning people’s awe and fury.

By Wendy Smith

The apt title of this juicy oral history, based on more than 160 interviews, simultaneously expresses a principle that guided producer-provocateur Joe Papp and the theatrical ruckus that ensued.

“Free for All” is how Papp presented Shakespeare in Central Park and in mobile units that toured some of New York City’s poorest, toughest neighborhoods. A free-for-all was the kind of battle he engaged in with anyone he thought stood in the way of making theater accessible to everyone.

And a free-for-all, the voices skillfully assembled in Kenneth Turan’s text reveal, was frequently the atmosphere created by Papp’s burning sense of mission and his intensely personal relationships with the artists he nurtured and infuriated during such groundbreaking productions as “Hair,” “No Place to Be Somebody,” “Short Eyes,” “A Chorus Line,” “for colored girls . . .” and “Runaways.”

[ click to read in The LA Times ]

Posted on December 19, 2009 by Editor

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Revenge For A Penny

Posted on December 19, 2009 by JK

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Listen up, Guys – this is John Wayne… from Texas. And there ain’t no gunslingers in Texas.

from The Los Angeles Times

‘Out West’ at the Autry examines the history of homosexuals and transgender people in the Old West

Museum officials say the series may be the first of its kind.

'Out West'One-Eyed Charlie was a driver for the California Stage Co. After his death, he was discovered to be a woman. (Wells Fargo / December 14, 2009)

Say the words “gay cowboy” and chances are the conversation will turn to “Brokeback Mountain,” the 2005 film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, and based on the Annie Proulx short story.

The Oscar-winning drama, which is set in the 1960s to ’80s, highlighted a long-submerged facet of frontier culture. But as a new series at the Autry National Center shows, the presence of homosexuals and transgender individuals in the American West is much older than the movie might lead you to think. It is, in fact, almost as old as the West itself.

Take for instance the tale of One-Eyed Charlie.

A stagecoach driver known for his hard drinking and itchy trigger finger, Charlie worked for the California Stage Co., where he earned his reputation as one of the best drivers in the wild West. He traveled between Oregon and California and, the story goes, got his nickname when he lost an eye while attempting to shoe a horse.

But Charlie kept a secret that was revealed only after his death in 1879. When his body was being prepared, a coroner discovered that One-Eyed Charlie was actually a woman.

It turns out that Charlie, nee Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst, had passed much of her adult life as a man. The discovery of her true gender became a local sensation. And her story still fascinates U.S. historians, some of whom believe that she was the first woman to have voted in a presidential election, long before the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

[ click to continue reading at The LA Times ]

Posted on December 18, 2009 by Editor

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Lady Gaga In The Womb

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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Dan O’Bannon Gone

from The LA Times

Dan O’Bannon dies at 63; screenwriter of ‘Alien’

By Dennis McLellan

Dan O’Bannon, the acclaimed science fiction/horror film screenwriter who was best known for writing the blockbuster hit “Alien” and who also directed and wrote the zombie fest “The Return of the Living Dead,” has died. He was 63.

O’Bannon, whose credits include co-writing “Blue Thunder” and “Total Recall,” died Thursday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica after losing his 30-year battle with Crohn’s disease, said his wife, Diane.

His career began with the low-budget 1974 sci-fi film “Dark Star,” a dark comedy directed by John Carpenter that began as a USC student project and was co-written by O’Bannon and Carpenter from their original story. (O’Bannon played what has been described as a “reluctant, flunky astronaut.”)

“Dan was enormously talented. He was acerbically funny and, I think, quite underappreciated,” Carpenter, who first met O’Bannon in film school at USC, told The Times on Friday. “I think Dan had more talent than he was allowed to show in the movie business. He was multitalented: a production designer, editor, director, writer.

“One of the things that endeared him to me was his rebellion against all authority, including myself, the studios, anybody who was above him. He said he kicks up, not down.”

[ click to continue reading at the Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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“I have one thing to say to polar bears – Evolve!”

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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Microwave Squash Noodles With Bacon & Parmesan

from the Arizona Republic

Squash Noodles With Bacon and Parmesan

1 1/2 pounds spaghetti squash
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cut squash in half across the middle, then in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds. Place squash pieces cut side down in a microwave-safe pan and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until tender, 5 to 9 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. (Do not drain bacon grease.)

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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Homeless Creep on a $2700 Taylor Acoustic

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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All I Want For Kurisumasu

from the New York Times

Akira Kurosawa in a Box, Including Early Rareties

Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

Kenichi Enomoto, left, and Denjiro Okochi in “The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail,” one of the films from the beginning of Kurosawa’s career, previously unavailable in the United States.

THE most imposing DVD gift set of this holiday season is “AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa,” which, in commemoration of Kurosawa’s coming centennial, the Criterion Collection has released at the equally imposing retail price of $399.

Elegantly packaged in a shoebox-size container covered in red and black linen, it contains 25 of the 30-odd features directed by Kurosawa, the Japanese filmmaker most famous for “Rashomon” (1950) and “Seven Samurai” (1954). For the most part these are titles that have already been issued by Criterion in stand-alone editions; they’ve been remastered here with a new menu design but without the extensive supplementary features for which Criterion has become justly famous. This time around it’s just the movies, though the set comes with an abundantly illustrated 96-page book with an introductory essay and notes on each film by the Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, as well as a personal reminiscence by Donald Richie, who was among the first critics to present Kurosawa to Western audiences.

With surprisingly few exceptions Japanese movies were virtually unknown outside of Japan until “Rashomon” won the Golden Lion at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, touching off a vogue for Japanese cinema that lasted through the decade. Kurosawa, who died in 1998, was never forgiven for his early success by the Western critics who came to prefer the more stylistically refined films of Kenji MizoguchiYasujiro Ozu and other directors whose work was discovered in Kurosawa’s wake, or by the Japanese critics who considered Kurosawa too Western in his cultural references and aesthetic choices.

Today these debates seem provincial and pointless. As the great French critic André Bazin wrote in a letter to his pupil François Truffaut, “Unquestionably anyone who prefers Kurosawa must be incurably blind, but anyone who loves only Mizoguchi is one-eyed.” There is no denying the surging vitality of a “Seven Samurai” or a “Yojimbo” (1961), just as there is no denying the blunt thematic statements and stylistic jumble of films like “Ikiru” (1952) and “I Live in Fear” (1955). And we now know that Mizoguchi and Ozu were influenced just as much by Western films as by Kurosawa, if not more so, with no apparent cost to their Japaneseness, itself a concept rendered suspicious by our postmodern distrust of essentialism.

[ click to continue reading in the NY Times ]

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Editor

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But how could breasts cause blood to go to my penis?

Posted on December 14, 2009 by Editor

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Insane Opinion

from the LA Times


All the lonely people

Researchers argue that far from being a personal issue, mass loneliness threatens our public health.

Gregory Rodriguez

What’s a good way to keep from getting lonely in this high holy season of togetherness? Stay away from lonely people.

It’s brutal but true, and it’s the cutting-edge finding of researchers whose mission it is to discover the causes of loneliness so that we can combat it with full force.

Think this is just a scholarly version of a “Dr. Phil” episode? Think again.

The lead researcher on this project — with UC San Diego’s James H. Fowler and Harvard’s Nicholas A. Christakis — is University of Chicago neuroscientist John T. Cacioppo, who last year co-wrote a groundbreaking book arguing that far from being a personal issue, mass loneliness threatens our public health. This new study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, seeks to map the geography of loneliness. Who feels it? And what is the connection of these Eleanor Rigbys to the rest of us?

What the authors find is that, like a virus, loneliness is contagious. People become lonely because of who they know as much as who they don’t know. It makes sense, really. When people are lonely, they tend to be less trusting and even irritable toward others. This type of behavior can easily make those on the receiving end feel a sense of isolation and loneliness themselves. In other words, lonely people pass on their loneliness. Before alienated people check into a cave, they alienate others, thereby continuing the chain. As the researchers put it, this means that loneliness is “both a cause and consequence of becoming disconnected.”

[ click to continue reading at the LA Times ]

Posted on December 14, 2009 by Editor

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Goodness, I taste delicious.

Posted on December 12, 2009 by Editor

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Bugaboo Dad

from ParentDish

Controversial Author James Frey Designs Stroller for Charity

James Frey and the stroller he designed for Bugaboo. Credit: Bugaboo

In honor of World AIDS Day, author James Frey created a custom Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller that’s being auctioned on eBay. 

The auction is “to generate money for the Global Fund which finances AIDS grants in Africa, the region hardest hit with this pandemic,” according to a press release. 

When he’s not writing, Frey and his wife keep busy with their 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. We spoke to Frey about the auction and his family life.

ParentDish: How did you get involved with this charity?
James Frey: A friend of mine, who works in PR for Bugaboo and was doing work with Bugaboo and (RED), contacted me.

PD: Tell me about your design.
JF: You know, they sent me a stroller. (Laughs.) And they were like, do something cool with it. I’m a father to two young children and we’re constantly reading books and learning our letters and saying the ABCs. And I’m a writer who literally makes his living using letters. I wanted to do something that I thought would be cool looking and appropriate to what I do. So I came up with the idea of just plastering letters of different colors and sizes and fonts all over the stroller.

PD: There was an article in Vanity Fair about you being a “PTA dad” at your kids’ school. Do parents ever want to talk to you about your career?
Occasionally. Most of the time I’m just a dad. There are other well-known parents at our children’s school [and] we’re there as the parents of our children, not as whoever we are in our professional lives. I love doing stuff at my kids’ school. They go to a great school and I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m the school tour guide, I was Class Dad twice. I think it’s important to be involved with your kids’ lives and I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to.

PD: Were you one of the only dads to be a class parent?
Yeah. The Class Moms all liked to tease me and make fun of me.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 12, 2009 by Editor

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Tiger Confesses, “I admit, back then, I got woodies pretty much at the drop of a hat.”

from Vanity Fair

Exclusive: Tiger Speaks

by Tiger
December 9, 2009,  3:00 pm

Hi, everybody. I am a border terrier. I am two years old, by the human calendar.I live with four human beings in a set of rooms on W. 108th St. The rooms are inside a building near those garbage cans with the smell.

I like to eat bread and chewing gum off the sidewalk. If I find a stray snot-rag, I will eat that, too. And if I come across any other dog’s pee, I will cover it with my own, thus ensuring my dominance in the neighborhood.

I never thought I would be writing for a major Web site. But then again, until recently, I didn’t have much to write about, since things were going pretty normal.

I usually wake up around 7. Then I stretch. I like to hit the outdoors before I have my breakfast.

[ click to continue reading Tiger @ Vanity Fair ]

Posted on December 12, 2009 by MJS

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More Six-Word Memoirs

from Robin Slick’s “In Her Own Write” blog

Like, there’s this new book coming out, published by HarperCollins:

Here’s the synopsis over at their website:

“It All Changed in an Instant
More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure
By Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser

Price: $12.00
On Sale: 1/5/2010 PRE-ORDER HERE!

“A perfect distraction and inspiration, and a collection that begs to be shared. Be warned, though. If you plan to lend out your copy, start out with two. Once it leaves your hands you’ll never see it again.”

—Denver Post (on Not Quite What I Was Planning)

The editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning are back with its much-anticipated sequel, It All Changed in an Instant. With contributions from acclaimed authors likeMalcolm Gladwell, Frank McCourt, Wally Lamb, Isabel Allende, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, and James Frey, and celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Suze Orman, Marlee Matlin, Neil Patrick Harris, Ann Coulter, and Chelsea Handler, It All Changed in an Instant presents a thousand more glimpses of humanity. . . six words at a time. In the vein of the popular Post Secret books, It All Changed in an Instant, in the words of Vanity Fair, “will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.”

[ click to continue reading over at Robin Slick’s site ]

Posted on December 12, 2009 by Editor

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Book Donations Down this Year

from the San Jose Mercury News

Fisher: Book donations way down this year

Blame the economy. Or technology. Maybe the problem is that books, the kind made from trees, are losing their appeal in the age of electronic readers and video games.

Whatever the reason, the Gift of Reading program is in trouble this year. And that’s bad news for all of us.

We know it’s important that children learn to love reading, so they can excel in school and in the workplace. We know that a kid who knows the joy of curling up on a grown-up’s lap and listening to “Goodnight Moon” is more likely to get hooked on Harry Potter and a lifetime of heroes and villains. Lots of parents start reading to their children even before they can sit up. But all too many kids don’t have books at home, and all too many classrooms don’t have enough to go around. That’s why, for 22 years, the Mercury News has sponsored the Gift of Reading, an annual drive that promotes literacy by putting new or gently used books in the hands of disadvantaged children. Thousands of kids have owned their first book thanks to the generosity of this community. Donations of books to schools inspired teachers to build libraries without digging into their own pockets.

A dip in donations

Last year, the program donated 70,000 books to elementary and preschools and nonprofits in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. That’s a lot of kids hooked on reading. But so far this year, only 16,500 books have been collected….

[ click to continue reading at the SJ Mercury News ]

Posted on December 12, 2009 by Editor

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Unbelievable – Editor & Publisher Gone


Editor & Publisher closing after 108 years

Dec 10 01:14 PM US/Eastern

NEW YORK (AP) – The journalism trade journal Editor & Publisher is shutting down after 108 years of publication.

Editor & Publisher is being closed as its parent company, the Nielsen Co., sells several of its other business publications such as The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.

[ click to read at ]

Posted on December 12, 2009 by Editor

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