‘Please give me another book.’

from Bend, Oregon’s The Bulletin

Best-selling author to launch imprint for children’s books

By Alexandra Alter / New York Times News Service

Novelist James Patterson is so prolific, his annual output rivals that of many small publishing houses. Last year, with help from his stable of co-authors, he published 16 novels and sold around 20 million copies of his books.

Now Patterson is seeking to extend his brand further, by creating his own publishing imprint, Jimmy Patterson.

The imprint, which will be part of Little, Brown & Co., will release eight to 12 children’s books a year, with a focus on middle grade and young adult fiction.

Patterson will oversee it all, choosing manuscripts and shaping the marketing plan for each title. He will publish four to six of his own children’s books a year under the new imprint and will acquire books by other writers.

“We’re not going to buy a lot of books, but if we buy them, we’re going to publish them with gusto,” said Patterson, who announced the initiative during BookExpo America, the publishing industry’s annual trade convention.

A handful of other writers have moved into publishing roles and created their own imprints and book packaging businesses. Author Lizzie Skurnick started a young adult imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, which publishes new editions of classic young adult novels dating from the 1930s to the 1980s. Novelists Lauren Oliver and James Frey both created their own book packaging companies, allowing them to acquire and commission works by other writers and sell them to publishers.

[ click to read full article at The Bulletin ]

Here’s a tasty one to end the week.

from Deadline Hollywood

James Frey Sci-Fi Book Proposal Has Fox 2000 & Publishers In Launch Mode


EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a tasty one to end the week. I’m hearing that James Frey has hatched a proposal for an untitled science fiction space franchise: book publishers are hot and bothered, and Fox 2000 is in talks to set it up as a feature with Marisa Paiva overseeing for the studio. The working title is Space Runners, but I don’t have any more specific information than that. This would be produced by Joe and Anthony Russo, who’d be producing with Frey and Mike Larocca. from the Russo’s Getaway Productions banner. They are already plenty busy as directors, with Captain America: Civil War, the next two Avengers installments, and the Ghostbustersspinoff that has Channing Tatum attached.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline.com ]

I Am Xevious

from SlashGear

GameStop to become a retro gaming destination

by Lindsey Caldwell

Gamestop isn’t just accepting the old consoles for trade-ins, the company aims to be a new destination for retro gamers everywhere. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find priceless, old E.T. game cartridges in stores because GameStop will be selling its retro games through an online shop after each game goes through its Texas-based refurbishment center.

You can start trading in retro games, consoles, and accessories as soon as April 25th, but they won’t be available for purchase until about eight weeks after that. We received word of GameStop’s retro gaming pilot program last week, and now we’ve found new details about how the program will work. According to John Haes, who is the head of the division, Gamestop will accept games, consoles and first-party accessories for Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, NES, first generation Playstation, Sega Dreamcast, and Sega Genesis; but, they won’t be taking any aftermarket controls, like these by Mad Catz.

[ click to continue reading at SlashGear ]

Ignore the critics because what do they know?

from The Telegraph

10 rules for making it as a writer, by Dennis Lehane

By , Arts and Entertainment Editor

Dennis Lehane at Hay Festival 2015Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River, at the 2015 Hay Festival Photo: Warren Allott

Dennis Lehane is the author of a dozen novels including Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. His television credits include seasons of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. His latest book, World Gone By, is out now.

Read whatever you can lay your hands on

We were working class. There were no books. There were some encyclopaedias – I always say it was the day my father didn’t see the salesman coming. And there was a Bible. I read the Bible from cover to cover when I was a kid. The Bible is an amazing piece of narrative storytelling. Then my mother heard from the nuns – probably the only nice thing a nun ever said about me – that I liked to read. So my mother took me to the library. To this day, I’m a big benefactor of libraries. Without libraries I couldn’t be sitting here.

Write out of necessity

I started writing when I was too poor to go out and entertain myself. I was living in an over-55s community in Florida where my parents had a little house. I was broke and staying at their house. I was 25 and had no money. I said, ‘I’m going to write to entertain myself.’

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

No More Dark Arts

from The LA Times

Once a dark art, opposition research comes out of the shadows for 2016 campaigns


TrackerA man attempts to block a political operative’s video camera as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker meets in Washington with members of Congress, K Street representatives and GOP donors. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Joe Biden was not the only one who found himself in crisis when a videotape emerged during the 1988 presidential primary exposing him as a plagiarist.The political operatives who had secretly distributed footage of Sen. Biden passing off the words of a British politician as his own also had a big problem on their hands.

Their disclosure nearly derailed the candidacy of the rival the operatives worked for, Michael S. Dukakis. He fired them and issued a major mea culpa.

Don’t expect any such apologies in this year’s presidential race.

Political opposition research, once a mostly unmentioned dark art, has turned into a garish, multimillion-dollar enterprise complete with logos, marketing strategies and indiscriminate, real-time streaming of the work product onto social media.

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

No More Meat-paste

from AP

Taco Bell, Pizza Hut: Artificial ingredients getting booted


NEW YORK (AP) — Taco Bell and Pizza Hut say they’re getting rid of artificial colors and flavors, making them the latest big food companies scrambling to distance themselves from ingredients people might find unappetizing.

Instead of “black pepper flavor,” for instance, Taco Bell will start using actual black pepper in its seasoned beef, says Liz Matthews, the chain’s chief food innovation officer.

The Mexican-style chain also says the artificial dye Yellow No. 6 will be removed from its nacho cheese, Blue No. 1 will be removed from its avocado ranch dressing and carmine, a bright pigment, will be removed from its red tortilla strips.

Matthews said some of the new recipes are being tested in select markets and should be in stores nationally by the end of the year.

The country’s biggest food makers are facing pressure from smaller rivals that position themselves as more wholesome alternatives. Chipotle in particular has found success in marketing itself as an antidote to traditional fast food. In April, Chipotle announced it had removed genetically modified organisms from its food, even though the Food and Drug Administration says GMOs are safe.

Critics say the purging of chemicals is a response to unfounded fears over ingredients, but companies are nevertheless rushing to ensure their recipes don’t become disadvantages. In recent months, restaurant chains including Panera, McDonald’s and Subway have said they’re switching recipes for one or more products to use ingredients people can more easily recognize.

[ click to continue reading at AP.org ]

ENDGAME Ancient Societies Who’s Who


Endgame Ancient Societies: Who’s Who and What Are They Up to – May 25, 2015

by JoJo Stratton


WARNING – This Guide has SPOILERSSo, you have decided to try to get the beta invite for the Endgame: Proving Grounds mobile App.  As you start to work on challenges and find a way to get that golden ticket to play, you begin to encounter all these names and story pieces. How will you ever figure out who is whom and what is what?  Well, that’s where this quick sheet guide can be a help.  I’ve collected many of the names here and tried to provide a brief (very brief) update of where these characters are right now.  If you really are into the story, there are weekly recaps you can review, Stella’s My Story, which lists all of her blogs, and a few communities and hangouts that are devoted to discussing the story.  Feel free to jump into story and explore even further.
Overview:  Stella V is searching for something called The Truth (The Ancient Truth). She spent most of her life kept in seclusion by Wayland Vyctory. Recently she ran away from Wayland as she began to learn that Wayland had been hiding things from her. As she tries to find who she is, she is learning about something called Endgame.

[ click to continue reading at fevgames.com ]

San Francisco Police Searching for Residents’ Eyeball

from Yahoo! News / Reuters

San Francisco police keep eye out for missing ‘Eyeball’ mask

SEATTLE (Reuters) – San Francisco police have asked people to be on the lookout for a valuable mask depicting an eyeball wearing a top hat, an artifact made famous by an avant garde rock band, saying the artwork was stolen during shipment from a Seattle museum.

The “Eyeball with Hat,” worth $100,000, was one of four original masks worn by the group The Residents, police said.

The mask was also worn in a photo of the band taken in front of the Golden Gate Bridge and used on the back cover of the 1979 “Subterranean Modern” album. The original photo, worth $20,000, was also reported stolen, police said.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Saturn Incomparably Opposed

from TIME Magazine

See a Rare View of Saturn’s Rings

by Dan Kedmey

It’s the best time of year to view Saturn’s rings

Saturn will come closer to earth this weekend than at any other time of the year, giving us earthbound creatures an incomparable view of its rings. For a closer look, “community observatory” Slooh trained Internet-connected telescopes on the planet during peak viewing hours. The images are shown in the video above, which includes expert commentary from Slooh astronomer Will Gater and Cornell University planetary scientist Dr. Jonathan Lunine.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Space Rocks For Sale

from The Washington Post

The House just passed a bill about space mining. The future is here.

Artist concept of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. (NASA/MSFC)

For as long as we’ve existed, humans have looked up at the stars — and wondered. What is up there? Who is out there?

Now, to that list of questions we can add: And CAN I HAVE IT?

The United States has already shown its penchant for claiming ownership of space-based things. There are not one, not two, but six U.S. flags on the moon, in case any of you other nations start getting ideas. (Never mind that the flags have all faded to a stateless white by now.)

So it only makes sense that American lawmakers would seek to guarantee property rights for U.S. space corporations. Under the SPACE Act, which just passed the House, businesses that do asteroid mining will be able to keep whatever they dig up:

Any asteroid resources obtained in outer space are the property of the entity that obtained such resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto, consistent with applicable provisions of Federal law.

This is how we know commercial space exploration is serious. The opportunity here is so vast that businesses are demanding federal protections for huge, floating objects they haven’t even surveyed yet.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Some People Should Be Mauled And Have Their Faces Torn Off

from CBS Atlanta

Pit Bull Found Hanged From Metal Chain On Bridge

Police Sirens

DEKALB COUNTY, Georgia (CBS Atlanta) — DeKalb County police come across a disturbing scene after finding a pit bull hanged from a bridge.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the dog was found Wednesday morning tied to a metal chain and hanging from a bridge on Kelly Lake Road.

“Detective are looking to identify a possible owner of the dog and any information about who may be responsible,” DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parish told the Journal-Constitution. “They believe this was an intentional act.”

[ click to continue reading at CBS Atlanta ]

Go New Canaan Go

from New Canaan News

New Canaan grads team up on film project

Nicola Scandiffio, left, is the producer, and Abigail Schwarz, the writer and director of ëThose Who Wander,í a dark comedy about a college spring break road trip. Scandiffio and Schwarz, both graduates of New Canaan High School, are seen here at a recent screening of the film in Ridgefield. Photo: Contributed Photo / New Canaan News
Nicola Scandiffio, left, is the producer, and Abigail Schwarz, the writer and director of “Those Who Wander” a dark comedy about a college spring break road trip. Scandiffio and Schwarz, both graduates of New Canaan High School, are seen here at a recent screening of the film in Ridgefield. Photo: Contributed Photo

Sometime in 2011, at the suggestion of mutual acquaintances, New Canaan High School graduate Abigail Schwarz met up after her first year at New York Film Academy with another New Canaan grad, Nicola Scandiffio. Both, it seemed, shared a passion for movies and the film industry.

The two hit it off and ended up working together on a project, and the result was “Those Who Wander,” a coming-of-age film involving a spring break road trip. It was written and directed by Schwarz and produced by Scandiffio.

The duo recently premiered the film, which was shot mostly in New Canaan and other Fairfield County towns, at the Ridgefield Playhouse. The house was packed heavily with local financial backers, both small and large, including best selling novelist James Frey, Schwarz said. Altogether, more than 400 people backed the film with online contributions, with another $130,000 being kicked in by others, including Frey, Schwarz said.

“Almost all of our investors were local within the Fairfield County area, so that was something that was really important to us,” Schwarz said of the screening. “It was a night to show the film and say thank you for making it a reality.”

Frey got behind the project in 2013, after reading about the fledgling filmmaker’s efforts in a local news story publicizing their fundraising efforts, Schwarz said.

“Most of the people who came aboard this project actually found us,” Schwarz said. “James found us through local press, and he’s from New Canaan. He called and ask me for the script, read it, and decided he liked it and gave us a substantial investment. We’re very fortunate.”

[ click to continue reading at New Canaan News ]



Starbucks and Spotify Link Up to Bring Digital Music Into Stores

By Lauren Johnson

Starbucks picks Spotify to power in-store music.

After ditching CDs earlier this year, Starbucks is not giving up on providing music to its customers thanks to a new partnership with Spotify.

This fall, the two companies are teaming up to equip all employees in Starbucks’ 7,000 domestic stores with free Spotify Premium subscriptions that normally cost $10 a month—the subscriptions will ultimately power the in-store music. The coffee chain’s 10 million My Starbucks Rewards loyalty members will be able to stream the playlists baristas concoct and vote for what kind of music they would like to listen to, location by location. What’s more, the listening and voting features can be done on either the Spotify or Starbucks app.

Spotify users will also receive points—or stars, in this loyalty program’s vernacular—they can put toward earning free coffee and food.

It’s the first time Starbucks is extending its loyalty program to reward its members for doing more than just buying coffee, but it’s also the latest step in building the chain’s app into the go-to app for other brands.

For the past year, rumors have swirled that Starbucks is building a mobile platform that it will sell to brands looking to break into mobile payments. In September, the brand inked a deal with Uber to include a button on its app that lets users book rides. In March, mobile accounted for 18 percent of Starbucks’ U.S. revenue.

[ click to continue reading at ADWEEK ]

Eighteen-quintillion Full-featured Planets

from The New Yorker

World Without End – Creating a full-scale digital cosmos.

No Man’s Sky will let virtual travellers explore eighteen quintillion full-featured planets. No Man’s Sky will let virtual travellers explore eighteen quintillion full-featured planets.

The universe is being built in an old two-story building, in the town of Guildford, half an hour by train from London. About a dozen people are working on it. They sit at computer terminals in three rows on the building’s first floor and, primarily by manipulating lines of code, they make mathematical rules that will determine the age and arrangement of virtual stars, the clustering of asteroid belts and moons and planets, the physics of gravity, the arc of orbits, the density and composition of atmospheres—rain, clear skies, overcast. Planets in the universe will be the size of real planets, and they will be separated from one another by light-years of digital space. A small fraction of them will support complex life. Because the designers are building their universe by establishing its laws of nature, rather than by hand-crafting its details, much about it remains unknown, even to them. They are scheduled to finish at the end of this year; at that time, they will invite millions of people to explore their creation, as a video game, packaged under the title No Man’s Sky.

The game’s chief architect is a thirty-four-year-old computer programmer named Sean Murray. He is tall and thin, with a beard and hair that he allows to wander beyond the boundaries of a trim; his uniform is a pair of bluejeans and a plaid shirt. In 2006, frustrated by the impersonal quality of corporate game development, Murray left a successful career with Electronic Arts, one of the largest manufacturers of video games in the world. He believes in small teams and in the idea that creativity emerges from constraint, and so, in 2008, he and three friends founded a tiny company called Hello Games, using money he raised by selling his home. Since then, its sole product has been a game called Joe Danger, about a down-and-out stuntman whose primary skill is jumping over stuff with a motorcycle. Joe Danger, released in several iterations, earned a reputation for playability and humor. (In one version, it is possible to perform stunts as a cupcake riding a bike.) But it was hardly the obvious predecessor to a fully formed digital cosmos. No Man’s Sky will, for all practical purposes, be infinite. Players will begin at the outer edges of a galaxy containing 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 unique planets. By comparison, the game space of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas appears to be about fourteen square miles.

From the moment Murray unveiled a hastily built trailer for No Man’s Sky, in late 2013, on the Spike TV network, anticipation for the game has taken on an aspect of delirium.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Amazon Picks Up Alex Morgan and Full Fathom Five’s Kid Series THE KICKS

from The Hollywood Reporter

Amazon Greenlights Six Kids Pilots

Amazon Prime members will be able to watch and vote on the four animated episodes and two live-action episodes during the company's next kids pilot season this summer. Amazon’s new live-action kids pilot, ‘The Kicks,’ is based on a book series by U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan.

Amazon Prime members will be able to watch and vote on the four animated episodes and two live-action episodes during the company’s next kids pilot season this summer.

Amazon Studios has greenlit six kids pilots, which will debut during its next kids pilot season this summer.

The order includes four animated pilots — The Adventures of Knickerbock Teetertop, Lost In Oz, Lily the Unicorn and Bear in Underwear — and two live-action pilots — A History of Radness and The Kicks.

Amazon Prime members will be able to watch and provide feedback on which pilots they want turned into Amazon original series.

“These new pilots will bring sophisticated stories and unique points of view that we hope will resonate well with kids and families,” Amazon Studios’ head of kids programming, Tara Sorensen, said in a statement. “We’re very excited to be working with such passionate creative teams and look forward to sharing these projects with our customers later this year.”

Amazon’s latest pilots feature an accomplished roster of creative talent.

The Kicks, about a star soccer player who switches schools and has to rally her new team, is based on a book series by U.S. women’s soccer player, and Olympic gold medalist, Alex Morgan. The series was adapted for the pilot by David Babcock, whose credits include Brothers & Sisters and Gilmore Girls. The project’s executive producers include novelist James Frey and his company Full Fathom Five. The pilot was directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, whose credits include Ramona & Beezus and Aquamarine.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

VARIETY – Amazon Studios Greenlights 6 Pilots in Next Wave of Kids’ Programming


King James Buys The Bulls

from The Washington Post

LeBron James owns the Bulls, and the team’s Wikipedia page briefly proved it

LeBron James showed again that he owns the Bulls. Don’t believe it? Check the team’s Wikipedia page.

Okay, you won’t see that there now (and it’s yet another reminder to not to take anything you read on Wikipedia as gospel). But the short-lived edit, made after Game 6 of the Cavaliers-Bulls playoff series, reflected the fact that James is the Human Season-Ender for Chicago.

By helping his Cavs advance to the Eastern Conference finals — his fifth straight appearance in that round, after four in a row with the Heat — James improved his personal postseason record in series against the Bulls to 4-0, including a 16-5 mark in all games played. Some people look at LeBron James and see an unprecedented blend of size, strength and talent. The Bulls look at him and see tee times next week.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Age Of The Technosexual

from The Telegraph

The Secret World of Tinder: are we really all technosexuals?

By Gerard O’Donovan

Pete is one of the many dating app-users featured in Channel 4's The Secret World of Tinder Pete is one of the many dating app-users featured in Channel 4’s The Secret World of Tinder Photo: Rory Mulvey

“We’re living in a technosexual world now,” said one contributor to The Secret World of Tinder (Channel 4). Which, on the evidence presented by this entertaining documentary, was definitely overstating the case.

But as an introduction to how the advent of dating apps has “revolutionised” the way in which people in Britain can meet potential partners – for one drink, one night or something more long term – this was interesting. Especially for someone who remembers antediluvian times when it was considered daring to answer an ad in the personal columns.

No doubt about it, the endless number of dating apps ­– Tinder, PlentyofFish, Lovoo, Grindr et al – increases opportunity, if not necessarily satisfaction or even take-up. The more recherché your sexual tastes, it seems, the more useful apps are likely to be, as evidenced by a man whose penchant for “puppy play” (leashes, collars and lots of sniffing, with men rather than actual dogs) went largely unfulfilled until he discovered the gay “kink and fetish” app Recon.

30 great opening lines in literature

For those with more mainstream preferences, the gap between opportunity and fulfilment seemed wider. Recent reports that upwards of 40 per cent of Tinder users are already married weren’t specifically addressed here.

But the high sleaze factor was; with all the usual warnings and didactic anecdotes about the perils of meeting people you’ve only previously communicated with online. The high “fakery” factor was emphasised too – especially regarding the many men who seem to see dating apps as opportunities to pretend to be someone they very much are not in real life.

Or to send photos of their genitals to people who don’t want them.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Naked Mole Rats Are Cool

from The New York Times



AGROUP of scientists studying the naked mole rat, a rare hairless rodent that lives in East Africa, have recently found that the seldom-seen creature has one of the most bizarre social behavior patterns of any mammal in the animal kingdom.

Little had been known about the three-inch-long rodents, which spend their entire lives in underground colonies. The researchers, however, found to their amazement that communities of up to 80 or more of the rodents lead an existence in a closed-in underground complex like that of an insect colony and, in many ways, behave exactly like insects.

Their findings included these unusual behavior patterns never before known to exist in rodents:

  • One female, selected by methods still unknown, becomes the ”queen” of the colony and, like the queen in a wasp colony, is the only breeding female in the community. The mole rat queen becomes much larger than other females in the colony.
  • If the queen is removed from the colony, a few of the remaining females grow larger and seek to take her place. One will prevail and become the new queen.
  • Although simpler than the social hierarchy of honeybees or ants, the organization of a naked mole rat colony requires both males and females to perform many specialized chores. These categories include food carriers, nest builders, garbage collectors, tunnel diggers and nursemaids to the queen.

[ click to continue marvelling at the Naked Mole Rat @ NYT ]

Chris Burden Gone

from The LA Times

Chris Burden dies at 69: Artist’s light sculpture at LACMA is symbol of L.A.

Chris BurdenArtist Chris Burden created Urban Lights, a sculpture in front of the entryway to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, that consists of guniune street lamps from Los Angeles historic past. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Chris Burden, the protean Conceptual artist who rose from doing controversial performances in the 1970s to become one of the most widely admired sculptors of his generation, died early Sunday at his home in Topanga Canyon. He was 69.

“Urban Light,” Burden’s 2008 sculpture at the entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has become a symbol of the city. It takes the form of a Classical temple composed from 202 restored cast-iron antique street lamps.

[ click to read full obituary at LATimes.com ]