The Aleph is a short story by Jorge Luis Borges in which a man is suddenly able to see all things at once. I wanted to present a version of what The Aleph might look like now, designed as an endless stream of descriptive passages pulled from the web. For source texts, I took the complete Project Gutenberg as well as current tweets. I searched for the phrase "I saw."The Aleph: Infinite Wonder / Infinity Pity by David Hirmes
History For Music Lovers is a Youtube channel that rewrites pop songs to be about history. Highlights include Constantine (Come on Eileen), Empress Theodora (Norwegian Wood), Gutenberg (Sunday Girl) and The French Revolution (Bad Romance). More videos. [MLYT]
Forty years among the Zulus, twenty-five years in Honan, twenty-one years in India, thirty years in India, thirty years in Nyasaland, eighteen years in the Khyber, twice around the world, twenty years in the Himalaya, four years in the White North, thirty years in the Arctic regions, thirty years in Madagascar, five years in a Persian town, eight years in Iran, fifty-three years in Syria, four years in Ashantee, forty years in Burma, five years in the Sudan, thirty years in Australia, forty years in Brazil. [more inside]
How to Analyze People on Sight, The Five Human Types, 1921. And other volumes of interest at Project Gutenberg.
Perhaps you have seen the recent video of flies zooming around a "German trade show" like little banner planes? That "German Trade Show" was the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse)—the most important event in the book publishing world. It's international; all the major US publishers go, as do many agents, to meet their foreign counterparts and to buy and sell projects amid publishing's eternal and ever-present air of fatalism. This year's fair had some interesting subplots, the most visible of which was the complicated dance the organizers did with this year's guest of honor, China, as accusations of censorship (on the part of China) and of brown-nosing (on the part of the fair's organizers) flew. [more inside]
The BBC's Stephen Fry follows the trail of Johannes Gutenberg to France and Germany, and attempts to reconstruct a working replica of Gutenburg’s first press. (YouTube version)
Every day tens of millions of "captchas" are solved by humans, using undreds of thousands of man-hours of work. But what if those person hours could be used for something beneficial? They can be. (you may have noticed recaptcha being used on some notable sites)
The Sony Reader is finally available for purchase. Those of us who cared enough to be annoyed by the over-hyped non-event that was the 'E-book revolution' have been waiting with baited breath for consumer level products featuring electronic paper. The Sony Reader isn't the only kid on the block though. At more then $800 versus the Reader's $350, the iRex iLiad can recieve Wifi, has a touch sensitive screen for note taking and marginalia, and is built around the linux kernal, allowing some pretty amazing hacks, making the whole thing rather irresistable. Many of us having been waiting to sell ourselves to the dark god of Electronic Paper + Project Gutenberg. This time seems to have arrived.
The Fifteeners: The Earliest Printed Books. Incunabula or incunables are the very first examples of books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed with moveable type in Western Europe. They range from the very first examples of the two-column Latin Bible produced by Johann Gutenberg in the 1450s to works printed through the end of the year 1500. The term "incunable" derives from the Latin word cunabula for "cradle" or "origin", hinting at their status as the earliest of all books. Incunabula are also sometimes referred to as "fifteeners" from their appearance in the fifteenth century. In 2002, the Countway Library embarked on an ambitious and long-needed project to describe and catalog fully its holdings of incunabula and make online descriptions of these items accessible to scholars and researchers for the first time. All of the books and woodcuts in this exhibit have been drawn from the collections of the Boston Medical Library and the Harvard Medical Library and have one common element—each is at least five hundred years old. The Fifteeners highlights some of the extraordinary treasures in the Countway's incunabula collection and allows the public a glimpse of these rarest of printed medical works. [Previously]
Gutenkarte: "Gutenkarte is a geographic text browser, intended to help readers explore the spatial component of classic works of literature. Gutenkarte downloads public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, and then feeds them to MetaCarta's GeoParser API, which extracts and returns all the geographic locations it can find." [note: works in Firefox but not IE, for me.]
The Gutenberg Bible: On this site you will find the British Library’s two copies of Johann Gutenberg’s Bible, the first real book to be printed using the technique of printing which Gutenberg invented in the 1450s.
The Gutenberg Bible : the first book printed with movable type, is the one of the greatest treasures in the University of Texas's Ransom Center's collections. It was printed at Johann Gutenberg's shop in Mainz, Germany and completed in 1454 or 1455. The Center's Bible was acquired in 1978 and is one of only five complete examples in the United States. All 1,282 pages now available for viewing on the Ransom Center's Web site. Also check out the anatomy of a page.
Proof of Life After Copyright : An overexcited e-mail from the Gutenbergers:
April 10, 2002 was the day Project Gutenberg reached 5,000 eBooks. By Moore's Law, October 10, 2003 could be the day for number 10,000. We are just over half way — 7,661 as I write this — 2,339 to go! That will take over 300 eBooks per month; we need you to help us push our average up from 268 per month to get to 10,000 by December, 31st.God help us if the entire universe fails to obey Moore's Law: the IPO of the singularity could be delayed. So pitch in.
Guttenberg, Babbage...Gates? [via Techdirt] Reading this caused me to question what caused Salon.com to publish this glowing valentine/commercial endorsement for Microsoft's .NET (a general catch-all marketing phrase covering MSFT's implementation of a number of standards supporting web services). Ignores most of the security shortfalls of .NET and compares Gates to Guttenberg. Should this bear the title "Paid Advertising"?
Now that low wattage radio might be available to all, I had an idea for a station (this could be radio, or it could be shoutcast on the web). How about feeding a voice synthesizer reams of text from the Gutenburg Project? You'd have all the great works of literature broadcast in a "books on tape" sort of format. It'd be free (less the time to program) and educational for all. Does anyone know of any good speech synthesis programs? From the ones I've tried out, I get the feeling that no one wants to hear Stephen Hawking read Mark Twain's classics all day long.