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Instant: The Story of Polaroid
In the ballad, told countless times over more than a century, the railroad worker John Henry wins a race against a new steam-powered drill, but the victory is Pyrrhic: he collapses, saying “Give me a cool drink of water before I die.” “Did he win? Did he lose?,” wonders novelist Colson Whitehead. “By the '60s,” remarks Scott Nelson, a professor of history who wrote Steel Drivin’ Man, “John Henry is looked down on, as being an Uncle Tom character. ... The black man who’s always willing to do what the white man wants. There’s a division between brain and brawn.”
Whether or not the story has historical roots — it’s uncertain — his race has come to represent the heroic struggle of men and women to maintain the dignity of their labor against encroaching technology. A chess grandmaster going to battle against Big Blue is compared to John Henry, and The Onion headline reads, “Modern-Day John Henry Dies Trying to Out-Spreadsheet Excel 11.0.”
But it wasn't always so. Studio 360's David Krasnow traces the ballad back to its origins as a cautionary tale, and finds the answer song: a blues about a railroad worker who wants no part of martyrdom. “John Henry was a steel-driving man. He went down,” the song goes. “Take this hammer and carry it to the captain. Tell him I’m gone.”
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Book Calendar 2013
Now that January is done you can see all the books that were selected for January at once.
The current day can be seen here.
The author of this book also wrote a book on a completely different topic: Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
De Arbeiderspers/A W Bruna, the largest publisher in the Netherlands, has removed DRM from its e-books for the first time.
Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight
January 14 selection for the Book Calendar: Digital Apollo
Jan 11 Book Calendar - Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History
January 7 book for the book calendar - Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing
If you look at the calendar in flip card mode you can browse over all the titles selected so far.
Book that looks at technologies that have gone extinct.
Coke can ring pulls, telephone boxes, VHS, cassette tapes, village post offices, the test card, hand-written letters, classic TV ads of yesteryear -- all of these and many, many more are bid a fond farewell in this affectionate, but slightly irreverent tribute.
Book Calendar selection for January 4 - Listen to Great Music
January 3 Book Calendar entry -The Universal Sense
The Book Calendar has posted the January 1 entry.
Site that features a new book everyday - Book Calendar 2013
NYT has a list of a 100 notable books for 2012. You can see all the books here.
The Japanese have stumbled upon an extraordinary way to do mental arithmetic very, very fast: Become proficient with an abacus, then discard it and do your calculations using a mental image of one. The results are mind-boggling
British Airways Boeing 747-400 in D-Check
Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World introduces an antidote to faceless, placeless sprawl — small scale neighborhoods where people can easily know one another, where empty nesters and single householders with far-flung families can find friendship or a helping hand nearby, and where children can have shirt-tail aunties and uncles just beyond their front gate.
The book describes inspiring pocket neighborhoods through stories of the people who live there, as well as the progressive planners, innovative architects, pioneering developers, craftspeople and gardeners who helped create them. -- Read More
I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV's programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business. Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.
New books in Amazon Top 100
Includes links to media pieces that discuss books.