Merchants of Doubt
is a new book that reports how a small group of scientists committed to an extreme free-market ideology have been employed by large corporations over several decades to cast doubt on such different environmental issues as the risks of tobacco smoke, the dangers of DDT, the effectiveness of the Strategic Defence Initiative, the regulation of CFCs, and the causes of global warming. A review
in the Christian Science Monitor calls this "one of the most important books of the year. Exhaustively researched and documented..."
posted by binturong
on Jul 12, 2010 -
It's like a concert tour but with sketchbooks.
Get a sketchbook, fill it based on a theme (you can pick one or have one assigned randomly) by a certain date, then let it go on tour and eventually be a barcoded, checkout-able book in the Brooklyn Art Library that you can track. I love this idea.
posted by jragon
on Jul 10, 2010 -
Nevertheless, many of the gamers I encounter report the same experience of feeling as if they have engaged in some kind of transgression. There’s often a sense of guilt that comes with tales of gaming exploits, as if games were a vice or a character flaw, a symptom of one kind or another. [...]
So my cards are on the table: I’m going to offer some alternative, positive descriptions. This analysis will show how video games have inspired artists, transformed rags into riches, given purpose to empty lives, and entertained bored people on a Sunday afternoon. We’ll see how games turned young people into heroes and how gaming has enabled the realization of previously unimaginable ambitions. We’ll see how games can make us better people, how they dissolve the horrors of boredom—and how they can function as propaganda for a wide range of worthy and unworthy causes.
This Gaming Life
by Jim Rossignol (of Rock, Paper, Shotgun
) is a book about gaming, gamers, and how they affect each other - available in full and for free under a Creative Commons licence.
posted by Electric Dragon
on Jul 6, 2010 -
There are Real Fake Buildings
, Real Fake Watches
, real fake books
, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!
But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes
in Southern Italy
, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes
in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany."
"The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
posted by not_the_water
on Jun 4, 2010 -
The Book Pirates of Peru.
A slideshow in which Peruvian author Daniel Alarcón describes the vibrant literary scene in his home country, where the informal publishing industry is the same size as its legitimate counterpart. There's no library system to speak of, the National Library's acquisitions budget is nil, but a culture of reading and writing is booming, with book sales and attendance at literary festivals up, up, up.
posted by WPW
on Jan 18, 2010 -
"In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, a Yale professor finds a case against civilization
Zomia is a rugged swath of Asia that for 2,000 years has remained culturally aloof from the traditional centers of power and the pull of empires. Its inhabitants, Asia’s “hill people,” have earned a reputation for egalitarianism, insurrection, and independence. Up until the second half of the 20th century, many of the societies there remained nonliterate and supported themselves through trade, smuggling, and Iron-Age practices like slash-and-burn agriculture... In Zomia’s small societies, with their simple technologies, anti-authoritarian tendencies, and oral cultures, Scott sees not a world forgotten by civilization, but one that has been deliberately constructed to keep the state at arm’s length.
posted by andoatnp
on Dec 13, 2009 -
David Byrne has just published a new book about bicycles called Bicycle Diaries
. A long time rider, Byrne muses on how the world looks and works from the vantage point of a cyclist. It's getting pretty good reviews
. To launch the book, Byrne is touring the US and arranging public forums. Each event features a civic leader, an urban theorist, a bicycle advocate, and Byrne himself speaking about bikes in cities. Here’s a schedule of the upcoming events
. He’s also designed some bike racks
for his hometown of New York City. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Sep 27, 2009 -
"I work at a used and rare bookstore, and I buy books from people every day. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books. "
posted by milquetoast
on Jul 25, 2009 -
From 1864 to 1904, the Russian Empire tried to quelch the nationalism of Lithuanians by ordering all Lithuanian texts to be printed with Cyrillic characters instead of in the Latin-derived Lithuanian or Polish alphabets. But they didn't count on the Knygnešiai - the Booksmugglers
. [more inside]
posted by mdonley
on Jul 12, 2009 -