Bibliofuture's blog

No Argument: Thomas Keeps 5-Year Silence

The anniversary will probably be observed in silence.

A week from Tuesday, when the Supreme Court returns from its midwinter break and hears arguments in two criminal cases, it will have been five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument.

Interesting article in the NYT about this.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/us/13thomas.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=thomas&st=cse

The Ethics of Free Cellphone Calls

When I last wrote about the quest to get free phone calls forever, a number of readers wrote to point out a very sneaky trick that lets you achieve that frugal heaven — even from your cellphone. Yes, it’s a way to get free cellphone calls, without listening to an ad, without being in Wi-Fi, without using any minutes.

Full article: Pogue's Post in the NYT

Oregon Attorney’s Documentary ‘Hot Coffee’ Makes the Sundance Cut

Many lawyers have fantasized about putting their practice on hold and making a movie, but few actually do it.

Even fewer can say their maiden effort landed them a coveted spot at an internationally renowned film festival.

Ashland, Ore., lawyer Susan Saladoff is that rare lawyer who not only followed her dreams but has bragging rights to boot. Her 2009 film Hot Coffee will be screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The feature-length documentary is one of 16 selected from 841 entrants for the festival's U.S. documentary competition. It largely focuses on the infamous 1994 McDonald's coffee spill case—in which a jury awarded plaintiff Stella Liebeck $2.86 million in damages after she spilled hot coffee on herself—while also exploring how and why the case has become so iconic.

Full article here.

Speck by Speck, Dust Piles Up

Article about dust. Man with a 31,000 volume library is mentioned.

Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/garden/10dust.htm

Frederick Douglass

Saw a presentation by a reenactor of Frederick Douglass. The speaker recommended two books on Douglass.

Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics

Three Books On Entering Strange New Worlds

From earliest times, the plight of the stranger, the outsider, has always made for a great story. In the Old Testament, Ruth follows her bereaved mother-in-law, Naomi, and embraces a new culture, customs (and husband) to make a home for them in a land far from her own. From ancient texts to the present day, perhaps this is what reading is always about — finding a space to explore worlds and lives that are not our own, to look in on places where we don't belong.

Full piece on NPR

Dogtooth

Dogtooth was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It is currently available on Netflix Watch-It-Instantly.

NYT review: http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/movies/25dog.html

The Matter of the Page: Essays in Search of Ancient and Medieval Authors

The Matter of the Page: Essays in Search of Ancient and Medieval Authors

Ancient and medieval literary texts often call attention to their existence as physical objects. Shane Butler helps us to understand why. Arguing that writing has always been as much a material struggle as an intellectual one, The Matter of the Page offers timely lessons for the digital age about how creativity works and why literature moves us. -- Read More

Class Action Suit Filed Against Jimmy Carter Book

Readers are often warned not to judge a book by its cover, but what about its publicity? That is the basis of a class-action lawsuit against former President Jimmy Carter and his publisher Simon & Schuster over his 2006 book “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid,” which was filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

Full story

Gale Launches New Contest to Unmask the Librarian Superheroes Among Us

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of the Are you a Librarian Superhero contest to recognize the often heroic efforts put forth by librarians around the country, and to encourage other feats of greatness. Gale is calling on everyone – fellow librarians, library patrons, students and school administrators – to nominate a superhero librarian who is making a real difference for their library and community.

See: http://bit.ly/eQZr16

Innovation Is Doing Little for Incomes

Interesting piece in the NYT by Tyler Cowen (professor of economics at George Mason University)

Artricle here

U.S. Presidents / Possible Reading Project

I am thinking about starting a reading project where I read one book about every U.S. President. I am gathering a list of books to see what is available.

I am open to suggestions if anyone has books they would like to add to the list. I can guarantee that I have to be missing some major works at this point.

1st - George Washington (1789-1797)

Washington: A Life

His Excellency: George Washington

Washington: The Indispensable Man

2nd - John Adams (1797-1801) -- Read More

Amazon Kindle, protected, is immersed

An Amazon Kindle, protected by a special waterproof case, is immersed in water at a consumer electronics show. Amazon has released the first of a new line of short digital books pitched as quick, captivating works for its popular electronic reader.

See picture here: http://yhoo.it/guHCZ4

Kindle Singles debuts pithy digital works

Amazon has released the first of a new line of short digital books pitched as quick, captivating works for its popular Kindle electronic readers.

The launch of Kindle Singles included the debut of TED Books, written versions of inspirational 18-minute talks that are a trademark of renowned TED gatherings dedicated to cultivating "ideas worth spreading."
"This first set of Singles was selected by our team of editors, and includes works by Rich Cohen, Darin Strauss, Ian Ayres, and the first-ever books published by TED," said Kindle content vice president Russ Grandinetti.

Full article

Academically Adrift

Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses has been in the top 100 on Amazon for the last 9 days.

Book is mentioned in this article: 45% Of Students Don't Learn Much In College

Article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: New Book Lays Failure to Learn on Colleges' Doorsteps

The NYT has a "Room for Debate" piece called Does College Make You Smarter? that mentions the book.

Think You Know 'How To Write A Sentence'?

NPR discusses a new book by Stanley Fish called How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One

NPR piece is here: Think You Know 'How To Write A Sentence'?

Scalia

A law professor I know sent me this email. I believe this prof has a slightly left of center political view just to give a little context on the sender.

-----------------------------

Agree or not, you all might enjoy reading the following three paragraphs, the first three paragraphs of a concurring opinion by Scalia, published yesterday.

Professor X

Cite as: 562 U. S. ____ (2011) SCALIA, J., concurring in judgment

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
No. 09–530
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. ROBERT M. NELSON ET AL.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
[January 19, 2011]
JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS joins, concurring in the judgment. -- Read More

Sex on the Moon

Book -- Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea—a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.

Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA’s headquarters—past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways—and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks.

But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts—undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut—really what he seemed?

Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Ocean’s Eleven–style heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.

Article in the LA Times from 2004 about the events that were the basis for the book.

1.3 million

1.3 million people bought the $20 gift certificate at Amazon.com for $10 at Living Social.

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