What aren't you reading?
By looking at the top 5 most highlighted passages via Kindle in each book, Jordan Ellenberg has figured out which books are most unread: Take the page numbers of a book's five top highlights, average them, and divide by the number of pages in the whole book. He calls the result the Hawking Index, after the much-unread Brief History of Time
, though Piketty seems to have knocked Hawking off his throne (all five top highlights come in the first 26 pages, out of 700). Also, everyone finishes The Goldfinch
. Previous attempts to figure out what is least finished have been conducted by Goodreads
(#1: Catch-22), and by the Guardian in 2007 (which may explain why Vernon God Little is #1), which included helpful summaries
. What have you not finished recently?
posted by blahblahblah
on Jul 6, 2014 -
makes infographics [index
] covering chemistry basics
and the chemistry behind every day phenomena, like the aroma of books
, and cell phones
. In time for the 4th of July, the chemistry behind fireworks: gunpowder
Over on tumblr
, Compound Interest answers questions about chemistry
, dispels myths (glowsticks
), promotes science (bad science
, the dose makes the poison
) and other... things
Compound Interest has also teamed up with the American Chemical Society to make videos (why does bacon smell so good?
). [more inside]
posted by bobobox
on Jul 3, 2014 -
Describing Dame Muriel Spark's oeuvre as "a body of work singular in its violence, formal inventiveness, and scorching opening lines," Parul Sehgal's What Muriel Spark Saw
examines the enduring appeal and the mystery of Spark's fiction, particularly the "monstruous" women: "What hash Spark's characters make of those eternal debates over unlikable characters or unlikable women." [more inside]
posted by mixedmetaphors
on Jul 1, 2014 -
From June 2013, a new scheme, Reading Well Books on Prescription will be available in libraries throughout England. This new scheme has been developed by The Reading Agency and The Society of Chief Librarians and aims to bring reading's healing benefits to the 6 million people with anxiety, depression and other mild to moderate mental health illnesses. There is growing evidence showing that self-help reading can help people with certain mental health conditions get better. Reading Well Books on Prescription will enable GPs and mental health professionals to prescribe patients cognitive behavioural therapy through a visit to the library. Here they can get books to help them understand and manage conditions from depression to chronic pain.
More on the program
from the Boston Globe
posted by MonkeyToes
on Jun 25, 2014 -
Call Me Ishmael
: call a number and leave a voicemail about a book you've loved and a story you've lived. Later, that anonymous voicemail will be transcribed and made into a short video for everyone to see.
posted by SkylitDrawl
on Jun 22, 2014 -
A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people. Why Libraries Matter.
posted by cashman
on May 17, 2014 -
Who is Jon Snow's mother? What's up with the crazy seasons in Westeros? Why have the White Walkers returned after all this time? These questions and more
have been the subject of much speculation and debate among fans of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones
/ A Song of Ice and Fire
/ Dunk and Egg
universe for more than a decade. Fans have published their theories in forums, on fansites, and even as the occasional academic journal article.
: All sources -- show, books, cut scenes, DVD special features, pre-released chapters, interviews, visions you got from a tree, etc. -- are fair game in this thread!) [more inside]
posted by Jacqueline
on Apr 28, 2014 -
"In 2011, when we blogged about the Shaftesbury Psalter (which may have belonged to Adeliza of Louvain; see below), we wrote that medieval manuscripts which had belonged to women were relatively rare survivals. This still remains true, but as we have reviewed our blog over the past few years, it has become clear that we must emphasize the relative nature of the rarity – we have posted literally dozens of times about manuscripts that were produced for, owned, or created by a number of medieval women." -- For International Womens' Day last week, the British Library's Medieval Manuscripts blog showcases a selection of manuscripts that belonged to some of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Mar 12, 2014 -
This site has the aim of encouraging a wider reading of all types of literature, through a series of recipes inspired (directly or indirectly), by those works. It explores the ways in which descriptions of food are used to elicit meaning for a character trait, a foreign country, or social etiquette. [more inside]
posted by chavenet
on Mar 8, 2014 -
The drama issues from the assailability of vital, tenacious men with their share of peculiarities who are neither mired in weakness nor made of stone and who, almost inevitably, are bowed by blurred moral vision, real and imaginary culpability, conflicting allegiances, urgent desires, uncontrollable longings, unworkable love, the culprit passion, the erotic trance, rage, self-division, betrayal, drastic loss, vestiges of innocence, fits of bitterness, lunatic entanglements, consequential misjudgment, understanding overwhelmed, protracted pain, false accusation, unremitting strife, illness, exhaustion, estrangement, derangement, aging, dying and, repeatedly, inescapable harm, the rude touch of the terrible surprise — unshrinking men stunned by the life one is defenseless against, including especially history: the unforeseen that is constantly recurring as the current moment. Philip Roth on his life as a writer
posted by shivohum
on Mar 4, 2014 -
"As we near completion on the construction at the new Long Now space in Fort Mason, we are also building the collection of books that will reside here. We have named this collection The Manual for Civilization, and it will include the roughly 3000 books you would most want to rebuild civilization. ... So… If you were stranded on an island (or small hostile planetoid), what books would YOU want to have with you?" The Manual for Civilization begins
, from 2010, on the project's announcement.
posted by MonkeyToes
on Feb 7, 2014 -
Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York."
And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart."
Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book
, published in 1920. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 29, 2014 -