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Sacrificial virgins of the Mississippi

Book- Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi

Archaeologists are slowly unearthing the ghastly secrets of Cahokia, an ancient city under the American heartland

Book review at Salon.com

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Whither Redbox? Hollywood studios are conflicted

Hollywood studios are split over Redbox, the $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company: They could supply it with cheap wholesale discs and ride its massive growth, or starve it in the hopes of preserving higher-priced purchases.

News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox fell on the side of starvation this week, joining General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures, whose withholding of discs prompted a lawsuit.

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Postal Service Faces Gloom Of Economy

The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it lost $2.4 billion between April and June. It's on track to be $7 billion in debt by the end of September.

"What has occurred with the economy is unprecedented," Postmaster General John Potter said. "It's created, obviously, a much bigger challenge than we are able to respond to in a very quick manner."

Potter is appearing before a Senate panel Thursday to talk about the financial troubles.

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DVD Rental Stores Losing Out To Vending Machines

On NPR:

Vending machines have long been popular with Americans who need a quick sugar fix. Those craving a good movie also are finding the machines to be quite handy, as they avoid a trip to the DVD rental store.

Scott Graf reports for member station WFAE.

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Why We Must Ration Health Care

You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?

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Harvard cock

Penn Says:
Penn Jillette discusses Harvard.

Penn Says:
Penn Jillette discusses Harvard.

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Conversation at the dentist

I took my daughter to the dentist yesterday. As I was waiting I overheard two of the dental hygienist talking.

Topic of discussion? The Amazon Kindle.

One dental hygienist was telling the other that her husband had an Amazon Kindle and really loved it. Was mentioning that it was great when he travelled. Just found it interesting to hear discussion of the Kindle out in the real world. Also interesting to hear discussion about reading.

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Our Man in Mexico

Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA

Mexico City was the Casablanca of the Cold War--a hotbed of spies, revolutionaries, and assassins. The CIA's station there was the front line of the United States' fight against international communism, as important for Latin America as Berlin was for Europe. And its undisputed spymaster was Winston Mackinley Scott.

http://www.thebookcalendar.com/June25.html

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Smartphone Rises Fast From Gadget to Necessity

Article in NYT. Argues that access to email is driving many people to get a smart phone. With the expense of a smart phone if email is what you want here is a good option. There is a device called the Peek that provides unlimited email for $20 per month. The Peek device only cost $29 at Target. That $20/monthly cost is way cheaper than many of the data plans offered by the phone company.

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Penn Says: Overpaying Your Taxes

Penn (from Penn & Teller) asks everyone a question about larger government. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6my8orsJBdw

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The Unincorporated Man

The Unincorporated Man
http://www.thebookcalendar.com/June5.html

A brilliant industrialist named Justin Cord awakes from a 300-year cryonic suspension into a world that has accepted an extreme form of market capitalism. It's a world in which humans themselves have become incorporated and most people no longer own a majority of themselves.

Justin Cord is now the last free man in the human race - owned by no one and owning no one.

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Study reveals Kindle’s weak points as Google enters the ring

Amazon announced today that the super-sized Kindle DX ebook reader will ship on June 10. Unveiled in May, the DX attempts to correct a few perceived weaknesses of the original. In particular, many thought the first Kindle was a grand replacement for bulky novels, but its paperback-sized screen didn’t suit textbooks and magazine pages.

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What Would Google Do?

Book: What Would Google Do?
http://www.thebookcalendar.com/May18.html

Includes video of author giving talk at Google. Includes several points that are of interest to librarians.

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Curiosities of Literature: A Feast for Book Lovers

Book selection for May 16:

Curiosities of Literature: A Feast for Book Lovers
http://www.thebookcalendar.com/May16.html

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The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

Book Calendar entry for May 6: http://bit.ly/KzKbz

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Books on Trial: Red Scare in the Heartland

Books on Trial: Red Scare in the Heartland

Calendar entry for May 5th
http://www.thebookcalendar.com/May5.html

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Confessions of an Alien Hunter

April 30 book on TheBookCalendar.com

Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Includes video interview with author Seth Shostak.

Seth Shostak is a scientist, author, and frequent commentator on TV and radio. He writes a monthly column on SPACE.com, and often lectures on his work at SETI. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

http://www.thebookcalendar.com/Apr30.html

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TheBookCalendar / Twitter

TheBookCalendar.com has added Twitter as another way to find out the book of the day. There is a link to Twitter on the bottom of their page.

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Macs Aren’t Safer, Just a Smaller Target

Researchers found 26 vulnerabilities in OSX in 2008, about the same as in Windows Vista (27), according to security software maker Symantec. If its market share rises enough, the Mac will become a target and attacks will succeed.

Full story here

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Tweaking the Cable Model, to Avoid Newspapers’ Fate

Story in the New York Times

Ever since the rise of Napster, discussions among movie and television executives have included a vow not to let happen to Hollywood what happened to the music industry. After spending a few days last week at the Cable Show in Washington, I’m starting to hear a new worst-case scenario: that Hollywood goes the way of newspapers.

“The biggest risk is so much stuff gets on the Internet for free that we turn into the newspaper business,” Stephen B. Burke, Comcast’s chief operating officer, said in an interview last week.

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