Reading it only for the articles, honestly in this case
April 3, 2006 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Playboy in Braille. Yep, since 1970, the Library of Congress has offered Playboy among their Braille conversion services. Of course, none of the images are converted, it's just for the articles. [via coolhunting]
posted by mathowie (18 comments total)
My bump, my bump, my bump, my bump, my bump,
My bump, my bump, my bump, my lovely little bumps. (Check it out)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:06 AM on April 3, 2006

Hustler's way ahead of them.
posted by jonmc at 11:12 AM on April 3, 2006

I only read it for the articles anyway.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:12 AM on April 3, 2006

Articles? Playboy has articles?
posted by psmealey at 11:18 AM on April 3, 2006

I just have to say that I wanted to make a truly vile comment here, but I am studiously refraining. :)
posted by Malor at 11:20 AM on April 3, 2006

What's this #1, you're trolling MeCha for posts?

I knew I'd seen this before.

This makes more sense than a Playmate Radio Show, what's the point of listening to them?
posted by fenriq at 11:28 AM on April 3, 2006

There was almost exactly this joke in The Last Remake of Beau Geste.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:28 AM on April 3, 2006

"Owning Playboy in Braille is like having a Day-Glo orange monkey that can curse in Farsi. It gets attention. People talk."

Man I want that Monkey!
posted by Elim at 11:31 AM on April 3, 2006

I used to work for the LOC's National Library Service and it was a very interesting experience. This may be slightly off the topic of Playboy, but working in that environment "opened my eyes" to how challenging life can be for the blind.

Take a look at the NLS website—it is almost all text-based, for screen readers and with with large-print/high contrast for slightly visually impaired users. They produce each publication in large-print, braille and audio cassette.

NLS produces about 300 new books every month. Every book/magazine produced is done in-house (or by contractors) specifically for NLS—they are not just audio books like those you can download from iTunes, etc.—because the Library wants to provide readers the full text (not an abridged version) of the materials. They even describe charts, graphs, and images (now that leads back to Playboy...If only I had ever heard one of those tapes).

There were other challenges as well because technology is getting way ahead of the slow bureaucracy in the Library so audio-books are all on specialty cassettes requiring specialty players. "Wouldn't it be great if they were just on ipods?" was a question I often heard, or asked myself, but then you have to think, how can a non-sighted person navigate an ipod? And most of the users are elderly people who have lost their sight due to macular degeneration and probably wouldn't know how to use an ipod anyhow.

Before I left, I managed to get them using XML for some data, maybe someday we'll see an NLS RSS feed.
posted by pithy comment at 11:57 AM on April 3, 2006

I believe I once heard a story about a man who was blind, and read playboys (in Braille) for years. Then, he got vision restored through surgery. Not too long after he was on a plane and offerend a magazine, so he requested playboy and was embarassed to see it was pornographic.

Is this just an urban legend or joke? I hope not...
posted by piratebowling at 12:27 PM on April 3, 2006

I recall that during the previous Conservative coup, religeous groups actually got the braile conversion halted: how DARE the GOVERNMENT SANCTION PORNOGRAPHY!!!

It was quickly reinstated for the "its the articles, dummy" argument.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:40 PM on April 3, 2006

jonmc, I thought for sure that would be the cartoon of the blind man masturbating while the dog described the centerfold.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2006

As seen in At First Sight with Val Kilmer.
posted by JackarypQQ at 4:50 PM on April 3, 2006

Then there was the blind man who picked up a cheesegrater and declared it the most violent book he'd ever read.

badum-tish. I'm here all week.
posted by magpie68 at 4:56 PM on April 3, 2006

I've thought about learing braile. I seem to remember some old American white dude praising it because he could use it to read under the covers at night. Plus, reading by touch could give me a new, synesthetic approach to things, especially erotic literature.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:59 PM on April 3, 2006

Of course, none of the images are converted

Converting images to braille, hmmm...
posted by nofundy at 6:32 AM on April 4, 2006

Hello, McFly! Anybody see Sneakers?
posted by Alt F4 at 8:11 AM on April 4, 2006

The Optacon, launched in the 1980s, was a mouse-like device with a small panel of pins on top and a video camera within. The pins raised and lowered according to the printed paper on which the device was moved. A friend described a blind guy trying to 'read' the Playboy centerfold with it: wasn't too successful, alas.
posted by alasdair at 2:44 PM on April 4, 2006

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