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Judge not

You can't judge a book by its cover. But people do. if the 41st version of the cover of The Madonnas of Echo Park is this awful...how bad were the first 40?
posted by ecourbanist on Jan 31, 2011 - 61 comments

You'll Put Someone's Eye Out

Badass Lego Guns, a short YouTube video (1.55) showing five working guns built from instructions from the book of the same name by Martin Hudepohl. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Jan 27, 2011 - 18 comments

John Finley, 19th century tornado researcher

John Park Finley, American meteorologist, wrote the first known book on tornadoes (Tornadoes, 1887). Though some of his "safety" guidelines for surviving a tornado have since been refuted as dangerous (seek shelter on the side of a house facing an oncoming tornado!), the book remains a seminal work in tornado research. [more inside]
posted by Wossname on Jan 25, 2011 - 9 comments

I know it's why I always like to have a book on me.

Can a book stop a bullet? A soldier in 1916 reported a bullet stopped by a book case and a metal shaving mirror. Short story collective Electric Literature tested six of the biggest books of 2010. The Box O' Truth shot $1.50 of discarded library books. Mythbusters armoured a car with phone books. Sports Nation challenged a guest's basketball book. Internet pranksters ZUG shot different religious books as well as the Twilight Saga. One of Oklahoma's nominees for state superintendent for education even demonstrated how textbooks could protect against school shootings. Would you trust your life to such an educational encasement?
posted by Mike1024 on Jan 10, 2011 - 56 comments

"Bent and juxtaposed in ways that present the tension and dynamics of staged drama."

3D art made from book covers, by Thomas Allen.
posted by crossoverman on Jan 2, 2011 - 15 comments

Dream Thread

The book “Traumgedanken” (“Thoughts about dreams”) contains a collection of literary, philosophical, psychological and scientifical texts which provide an insight into different dream theories. To ease the access to the elusive topic, the book is designed as a model of a dream about dreaming. Analogue to a dream, where pieces of reality are assembled to build a story, it brings different text excerpts together. They are connected by threads which tie in with certain key words.
posted by chavenet on Dec 29, 2010 - 8 comments

Sad as Hell, a book review

"Sometimes I can almost visualize parts of myself, the ones I’m most proud of, atrophying. I wish I had an app to monitor it! I notice that my thoughts are homeopathic, that they mirror content I wish I weren’t reading." Sad as Hell: n+1 on the internet's effect on the self and the book Super Sad True Love Story (which has an damn good book trailer). The novel is set in a dystopian future where constant access to the internet results in a world “dense with panic and media.” [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla on Dec 10, 2010 - 7 comments

In praise of reading and fiction

Fiction is more than an entertainment, more than an intellectual exercise that sharpens one’s sensibility and awakens a critical spirit. It is an absolute necessity so that civilization continues to exist, renewing and preserving in us the best of what is human. [PDF] [more inside]
posted by Omon Ra on Dec 7, 2010 - 9 comments

Scary Sketches to Glimpse in the Dark

Nearly three decades ago, folklorist Alvin Schwartz published Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the first of three horror anthologies that would go on to become the single most challenged book series of the 1990s. But most of the backlash was against not the stories themselves (which were fairly tame), but rather the illustrations of artist Stephen Gammell. His bizarre, grotesque, nightmarish black-and-white inkscapes suffused every page with an eerie, unsettling menace. Sadly, the series has since been re-issued with new illustrations by Brett Helquist, of A Series of Unfortunate Events fame. Luckily for fans of Gammell's dark vision, copies of the old artwork abound online, including in these three image galleries: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. Interested in revisiting the stories themselves? Then don't miss the virtual re-enactments of YouTube user MoonRaven09, or the dramatic readings of fellow YouTuber daMeatHook.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 29, 2010 - 48 comments

(define this 'awesome)

Probably one of the 5 best amateur animated music videos about Lisp you'll see today. [more inside]
posted by DU on Oct 29, 2010 - 27 comments

El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha

El Quijote Interactivo is a site from the Biblioteca Nacional de España displaying the 1605 edition of Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote.
You can of course turn pages and zoom in and out. But, you can also search text, get a map of Don Quixote's travels, read associated books and expert commentaries, forward through 50 editions of the book, listen to music referenced by Don Quixote and, yes, share pages with your Facebook friends.
This Youtube video walks you through it.
posted by vacapinta on Oct 28, 2010 - 9 comments

A MONSTER'S LIFE IS NEVER BORING

From the venerable MONSTER BRAINS (previously, previously, previously) comes the lost children's classic GODZILLA LIKES TO ROAR
posted by The Whelk on Oct 26, 2010 - 19 comments

Book Sculpture

Jacqueline Rush Lee is an artist drawn to objects that record physical processes or bear the imperfections and scars of life. She transforms used books into sculptures that explore and redefine the book as familiar object, medium, and archetypal form. Also, inspired by gesture drawing and painting, her Paintures are figurative sculptures created from paint skins and paint scrapings affixed to scrap metal armatures. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Oct 16, 2010 - 8 comments

Dig Senalonga

Twenty-four vintage book covers from Portugal
posted by kenko on Oct 16, 2010 - 11 comments

Confessions of a Used Bookseller

Have you seen people at library book sales going over all the books with a barcode scanner? One of these folks reveals his methods and discusses his feelings about what he does.
posted by reenum on Oct 7, 2010 - 165 comments

Slaving Over a Hot Oven All Day

Chris Kimball prepares a 12-course meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 cookbook. Using only a coal stove and other authentic Victorian-era kitchen staples, the chef, who lives in Fannie Farmer's former home, recreated a classic holiday Victorian meal from her iconic 1896 cookbook.

The twelve courses included: "rissoles (filled and fried puff pastry), mock turtle soup with fried brain balls, lobster à l’Américaine, roast goose with chestnut stuffing and jus, wood-grilled salmon, roast saddle of venison, Canton punch, three molded Victorian jellies and a spectacular French-inspired Mandarin cake."

Chris Kimball is the creator of public television's America's Test Kitchen) and Cook's Illustrated. Naturally, he chronicled the experience in a book, aptly titled, Fannie's Last Supper. In it, he offers some moden adaptations of Fannie Farmer's recipes. A film depicting the difficulties of authentically re-creating the meal airs this Fall.
posted by misha on Oct 6, 2010 - 45 comments

We've come full circle people

PediaPress has long allowed logged in users of Wikipedia to create printed-on-demand books of one or more Wikipedia articles, but now Wikipedia has integrated into their interface the ability to make a book. No, not like that. Of course, the value of printing an ever-changing information resource can be debated, and some think it's a waste of time. Previously. [more inside]
posted by malapropist on Sep 5, 2010 - 5 comments

Designing Obama

The Obama presidential campaign was an innovation in American politics and American design. For the first time, a candidate used art and design to bring together the American people—capturing their voices in a visual way. The Design Director of the Obama campaign, Scott Thomas, has collaborated with artists and designers to create Designing Obama, a chronicle of the art from the historic campaign. Funded via Kickstarter, they have created a book and an iPad app. You can download the book in PDF format for free.
posted by sveskemus on Sep 1, 2010 - 57 comments

Book Buzz

"Freedom" by Jonthan Franzen: is one of the most hyped, most anticipated literary novel in years and it goes on sale today. Jonathan Franzen's new book Freedom is being hailed as "The Tolstoy of the Internet Era" [slate]. "The novel of the century" [guardian]. "a novel that turns out to be both a compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times." [nytimes] "Jonathan Franzen: one of America's greatest living novelists?" [telegraph] Jonathan Franzen is best known for his award winning book The Corrections [nytimes]. Maybe you're wondering why his name is familiar, [Oprah Book Club sticker incident].
posted by Fizz on Aug 31, 2010 - 166 comments

Man, that unicorn really is a jerk!

A Unicorn Being a Jerk
posted by empath on Aug 12, 2010 - 61 comments

schadenfreude

A book store is in trouble. But you'll never guess which one. Barnes and Noble, under increased competition, especially in the ebook market, is thinking about putting itself on the market.
posted by zabuni on Aug 5, 2010 - 115 comments

Put Your Nook Back in Its Crannie

Noted literary agent Andrew Wylie has made a deal with several of his authors - including Saul Bellow, John Updike and Phillip Roth - to release their e-books exclusively on Amazon. Macmillan's John Sargent and Tyler Cowen react.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jul 30, 2010 - 46 comments

Salesmen, Not Scientists

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 - 48 comments

The Sketchbook Project

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 - 17 comments

London, Seoul, Reykjavik

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 - 121 comments

What If Assassins Are Chasing You And All You Have Is A Deck Of Cards?

Ricky Jay's legendary book, "Cards As Weapons," is out of print. Used copies are expensive. Luckily, you can read it here. (The book contains some NSFW content.) I've you're new to Ricky Jay, start here.
posted by grumblebee on Jun 17, 2010 - 39 comments

How to become the world's No. 1 hacker/plagiarist

Cyber security consultant & self-styled “innovator, leader & visionary” Greg Evans has just written & self-published a book titled How To Become The Worlds No. 1 Hacker. Or did he? His company, LIGATT Security International, counts Philips Arena, the NBA Atlanta Hawks and the NHL Atlanta Thrashers among its clients. Or does it?
posted by scalefree on Jun 15, 2010 - 15 comments

Honest-to-goodness, genuine fake

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 - 19 comments

I would work in a box or with a fox...

Shedworking is a daily updated guide for people who work in garden offices and other shedlike atmospheres. There is also a book on the subject. [more inside]
posted by cubby on Apr 13, 2010 - 23 comments

Paging Kilgore Trout...

The Hypothetical Library, a part-time book cover designer collaborates with a wide range of amazing, contemporary writers on a project outside of their normal body of work.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Mar 29, 2010 - 7 comments

This is a story about information.

Fine Structure: Ching raises one hand ahead of him and delivers a series of complex commands to the fabric of reality. [more inside]
posted by niles on Mar 22, 2010 - 9 comments

Arthur takes on the autism spectrum

Marc Brown's Arthur series about a curious aardvark started with the bedtime stories he made up for his own children. Each one of the Arthur books contains Easter Eggs in the form of the author's children's names.

Hugely popular, the series of books spawned an animated show on PBS. In the 13th season of the show (beginning April 5th), Arthur and his pals will make a new friend, Carl. Carl has Asperger's. Still not sure what that is? That's okay, let Brain explain it for you.
posted by misha on Mar 15, 2010 - 155 comments

March Madness History Edition: Girls Six-on-Six in Iowa

The national record (PDF) for the most career points scored in high school basketball is held by a woman: Lynne Lorenzen from Ventura High School. Lorenzen and her sisters played six on six basketball, a fast paced and high scoring game. Six on six was a great tradition in Iowa, surviving until 1993, when Oklahoma became the last state to have games. There is both a documentary and a book detailing the nuanced history of the game in Iowa.
posted by achmorrison on Mar 7, 2010 - 12 comments

Goodnight Forest Moon

Goodnight Forest Moon [PDF] [more inside]
posted by kmennie on Mar 5, 2010 - 13 comments

Portfolios of the Poor

Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day A new book by Daryl Collins of Bankable Frontier Associates; Jonathan Morduch of NYU's Financial Access Initiative; Stuart Rutherford, author of The Poor and Their Money and founder of SafeSave; and Orlanda Ruthven of Impactt investigates the question of how over a billion people make ends meet on only $2 a day. "The authors report on the yearlong "financial diaries" of villagers and slum dwellers in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa--records that track penny by penny how specific households manage their money." The strategies adopted by the households of Hamed & Khadeja (pdf) from Bangladesh, Thembi (pdf) from South Africa, Feizal (pdf) from India and others may surprise you.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Feb 27, 2010 - 10 comments

WITCH!!!!

Long out of print, Maitland McDonagh's Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento, is finally being republished by the University of Minnesota Press in a new edition that incorporates studies on the director's work from 1995's The Stendhal Syndrome to last year's Giallo. [more inside]
posted by Toby Dammit X on Feb 26, 2010 - 8 comments

Judging Lolita by Her Cover

As Dieter Zimmer’s online exhibit "Covering Lolita" shows, it started with a plain green jacket. [Note: Some links include images which may be NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by bunnycup on Feb 19, 2010 - 40 comments

Over 650 Philip K. Dick book covers

Over 650 Philip K. Dick book covers [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 30, 2010 - 39 comments

Compra Original

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 - 16 comments

"face-tattooed, duel-scarred, razor-brandishing inmates"

Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate
Reason.com review focusing on "Tattoos, dueling scars, and other rational acquisitions"
Insider Higher Ed on "Criminal Incompetence"
Marginal Revolution on rates of violence between men and women in prison
Interviews with the author: Written ... Audio
posted by andoatnp on Dec 18, 2009 - 23 comments

All Tomorrow's Parties

Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 16, 2009 - 37 comments

Easy As ABC

Modern Alphabets (Single Link Flickr Post)
posted by grumblebee on Dec 14, 2009 - 24 comments

The Mystery of Zomia

"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 - 82 comments

A Long, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Free Software

In Two Bits (full-book in html) , Christopher M. Kelty investigates the history and cultural significance of Free Software, revealing the people and practices that have transformed not only software, but also music, film, science, and education. The author encourage his readers to modulate the book. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday on Nov 30, 2009 - 16 comments

After I got my post all done, Metafilter says it wants a title!

The Life and Times of Major Jack Downing of Downingville, away down east in the state of Maine, written by himself. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Nov 25, 2009 - 16 comments

Chuck Klosterman's New Book Out This Week

Chuck Klosterman's new book of essays Eating The Dinosaur is out this week. You can read the first chapter, which features interviews with Ira Glass and Errol Morris. Chuck appeared on Bill Simmons' podcast [warning, browser resize] today.
posted by JakeWalker on Oct 21, 2009 - 31 comments

Prometheus In The Kitchen

"Good, big ideas about evolution are rare." Simon Ings of the Independent reviews "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" by Richard Wrangham. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 13, 2009 - 17 comments

We live in the city of dreams, We drive on the highway of fire

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 - 28 comments

Design On Demand

Douglas Coupland wants you to design your own cover for his new book, Generation A.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 3, 2009 - 41 comments

The New Liberal Arts

The New Liberal Arts book is out. 47 pages of free pdf about things the various authors think will help prepare you for modern life. Earlier discussion about the planning phase of the book.
posted by srboisvert on Sep 3, 2009 - 37 comments

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