Books

MIT's New Toy Can Read Closed Books Using Terahertz Radiation

A group of researchers from MIT and Georgia Tech have built a device that can see through paper and distinguish ink from blank paper to determine what is written on the sheets. The prototype successfully identified letters printed on the top nine sheets of a stack of paper, and eventually the researchers hope to develop a system that can read closed books that have actual covers.

"The Metropolitan Museum in New York showed a lot of interest in this, because they want to, for example, look into some antique books that they don't even want to touch," said Barmak Heshmat, a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab and author on the new paper, published today in Nature Communications.

From MIT's New Toy Can Read Closed Books Using Terahertz Radiation

The Paper has a catchy title: Terahertz time-gated spectral imaging for content extraction through layered structures

Thanks to Ender for another great link!

D.C. will hide once-banned books throughout the city this month

D.C. will hide once-banned books throughout the city this month The D.C. public library system is hiding several hundred copies of books — which were once banned or challenged — in private businesses throughout all eight wards to celebrate Banned Books Week. The “UNCENSORED banned books” scavenger hunt kicked off Sept. 6 and will run through the month. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/09/08/banned-books-will-be-hidden-all-over-d-c-this-month/
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The Uncomfortable Truth About Children's Books

http://www.motherjones.com/media/2016/08/diversity-childrens-books-slavery-twitter Writers and scholars have bemoaned the whiteness of children's books for decades, but the topic took on new life in 2014, when the influential black author Walter Dean Myers and his son, the author and illustrator Christopher Myers, wrote companion pieces in the New York Times' Sunday Review asking, "Where are the people of color in children's books?" A month later, unwittingly twisting the knife, the industry convention BookCon featured an all-white, all-male panel of "superstar" children's book authors. Novelist Ellen Oh and like-minded literary types responded with a Twitter campaign—#WeNeedDiverseBooks—that spawned more than 100,000 tweets.
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Can Google Help Translate a Classic Novel? (no)

A classic of Argentine literature, Antonio Di Benedetto's Zama is available for the first time in English. The novel, about a provincial magistrate of the Spanish crown named Zama, is a riveting portrait of a mind deteriorating as the 18th century draws to a close. Esther Allen brilliantly translates Di Benedetto's novel, and talks about the six-year process of bringing the book to U.S. readers. No, Google Translate was in no way useful to my translation of the 1956 Argentine novel Zama: let's get that out of the way first thing.
From Can Google Help Translate a Classic Novel?
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The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre

One common thread in Borden literature examines how the police and the courts handled the case. Over the years, writers have explored the investigation and trial to critique both the American justice system and the effects of the press on that system. The coverage of the Fall River murders demonstrates that, even as true crime evolves throughout the centuries, it continuously engages with the culture that surrounds it. Since the early modern murder pamphlet, true crime has asked us to consider how we, as a society, both contribute to and learn from the most shocking acts of our age.
From The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre | JSTOR Daily
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Belgians are hunting books, instead of Pokemon

Inspired by the success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks. While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device's GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire's version is played through a Facebook group called "Chasseurs de livres" ("Book hunters").
From Belgians are hunting books, instead of Pokemon | Reuters
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Of Dirty Books and Bread

This piece of advice forms the antidote to the abovementioned instruction for cleaning books: conflicting advice across the centuries. Undecided on the issue I will, however, continue to make sure my hands are clean as I continue through manuscripts with recipes, especially the alchemical ones. You never know what may have left that stain in the margin.
From Of Dirty Books and Bread | The Recipes Project
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Committee reviewing books pulled from summer reading list in Chesterfield VA

The decision to pull books from a summer reading list in Chesterfield County after parents complained that they were laden with sexually explicit language and violence has drawn the attention of a state senator and criticism from national free-speech advocacy groups.
From Committee reviewing books pulled from summer reading list in Chesterfield - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Chesterfield County News
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The origins of children’s literature - The British Library

By the end of the 18th century, children’s literature was a flourishing, separate and secure part of the publishing industry in Britain. Perhaps as many as 50 children’s books were being printed each year, mostly in London, but also in regional centres such as Edinburgh, York and Newcastle. By today’s standards, these books can seem pretty dry, and they were often very moralising and pious. But the books were clearly meant to please their readers, whether with entertaining stories and appealing characters, the pleasant tone of the writing, or attractive illustrations and eye-catching page layouts and bindings.
From The origins of children’s literature - The British Library

To Your Brain, Audiobooks Are Not ‘Cheating’

This question — whether or not listening to an audiobook is “cheating” — is one University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham gets fairly often, especially ever since he published a book, in 2015, on the science of reading. (That one was about teaching children to read; he’s got another book out next spring about adults and reading.) He is very tired of this question, and so, recently, he wrote a blog post addressing it. (His opening line: “I’ve been asked this question a lot and I hate it.”) If, he argues, you take the question from the perspective of cognitive psychology — that is, the mental processes involved — there is no real difference between listening to a book and reading it. So, according to that understanding of the question: No, audiobooks are not cheating.
From To Your Brain, Audiobooks Are Not ‘Cheating’ -- Science of Us
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