San Francisco is No. 1 -- in books and booze

Bob Cox writes "according to a new federal survey, San Franciscans spend more on alcohol and books than residents of any other U.S. city.

The two-year study of spending habits, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that New Yorkers spend the most on clothes, Bostonians spend the most on tobacco, Chicagoans spend the most on utilities and Washingtonians spend the most on entertainment -- not counting admission to sessions of Congress, which is free.

Full Story "


Overdue for 37 years, book returned to library

At only 37 years overdue, This One seems barely news-worthy, but, The Violin Family by Sheila M. Nelson, was 37 years overdue when it showed up two weeks ago at the Deerfield, Florida, Branch library as part of the county's "Thank you, Sam" amnesty week.
At the 1966 library rate of 2 cents a day, the man could have owed the library more than $270.


Want mustard on that pastillum botello fartum?

Bob Cox writes "The Vatican has published a dictionary that contains Latin translations for thousands of modern phrases -- from dishwasher to rush hour to organized crime -- that did not exist when the Roman Empire ruled the world.

Nationalpost Has The Story

See Also, and This has weather forecasts in



Paid facilitators introduce reading groups to more sophisticated literature

\"On a gray Monday morning, 10 women have gathered at a Greenbrae home to talk about the novel \"Cane\" by Jean Toomer. Eight of the women have paid the ninth, Carol Benet, to lead the discussion.\"

\"Benet, 63, is one of a new breed: the paid book club facilitator.\"

\"The very words \"book club\" can bring to mind the peace of a bright living room, where women balance plates on their knees, listening eagerly to one another\'s opinions, not letting anything distract them from serious literary discussion.\" (from SFGate via Bookslut)


History textbook tells buried military past

A National Post Story says The first high school textbook on Canadian military history, published by Edmonton's school board because existing school books largely ignored the subject, has proven so popular they cannot be printed fast enough.

''I want the kids to be aware of the impact of technology on war, to understand why World War I was such a bloodbath. The important lesson to learn is that it was civilians who predicted that. If only military people know military history, then the military becomes the experts on itself and civilians have to take their word,''


Events mark Nazi book-burning

Steve Fesenmaier notes This BBC Story on the many events marking the 70th anniversary of the Nazi book-burning.
There are lectures, exhibitions, discussions and of course, readings. The burnt works of many familiar authors will be read out - Albert Einstein, Bertold Brecht, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Mayakovski, to name but a few.


Colvin students fight for books

"Bare shelves tell the story of the Planeview library in southeast Wichita."

"Signs promise science fiction, mystery, paperbacks, young adult books and magazines. But the books are gone, swept away in city budget cuts."

"The only books still here are for fifth-graders and younger -- and two-thirds of those are due to vanish in the next three years."

"For 25 years, the city of Wichita had maintained a small public library branch in a space shared with the Colvin Elementary School library. It was the only library branch in the southeast area of the city and a source of information for one of the city's poorest neighborhoods."

"But on March 28, the public portion of the library was shut down to save $17,100 of the city's total library budget of $5.5 million." (from The Wichita Eagle)


Stone Reader film saves a lost book

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Here is one of those stories that makes life worthwhile. Mark Moskowitz's much-admired documentary "Stone Reader" is about to get a new ending, and a much happier one. The lost masterpiece it is about will be coming back with full promotion from the publisher. I have not seen it myself, but it will be coming out on DVD soon, according to the director and producer - I have been in search of the film in search of the lost book. I had the world library premiere of "Book Wars" two years ago here in Charleston. Read the
NY Times story here


Hacking the Xbox

The author of Hacking the Xbox is self-publishing his book. He says it was originally to be published by Wiley & Sons, who backed out over DMCA concerns. Anchorage Municipal Library and the British Library are the only libraries currently listed in WorldCat who (will) own the book.

"Hacking the Xbox presents material on cryptography, reverse engineering and security in a didactic fashion, with the Xbox used as an widely available, consistent teaching example that has a broad appeal. The concepts taught in this book are generally applicable, as the Xbox's architecture is very similar to the common desktop PC."


Young Minds Force-Fed With Indigestible Texts

Jen Young points us to This NYTimes Article on Diane Ravitch's fiercely argued new book, "The Language Police," that points out just some of the things students aren't supposed to find in their textbooks or tests.
They say the commissars of political correctness on the left and the fundamentalist sentries of morality on the right have clamped down on the education system, more and more subjects, words and ideas have become taboo.



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