Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween!

since today is halloween, i thought i would post the great edgar allan poe's the raven. it's such a great poem. and i think it fits perfectly with halloween. hope everyone got lots of candy and had a spooky day.

the raven

Saturday, October 30, 2010

scary stories 2

Axe Murder Hollow
A Pennsylvania Ghost Story
retold by S.E. Schlosser

Susan and Ned were driving through a wooded empty section of highway. Lightning flashed, thunder roared, the sky went dark in the torrential downpour.
“We’d better stop,” said Susan.
Ned nodded his head in agreement. He stepped on the brake, and suddenly the car started to slide on the slick pavement. They plunged off the road and slid to a halt at the bottom of an incline.
Pale and shaking, Ned quickly turned to check if Susan was all right. When she nodded, Ned relaxed and looked through the rain soaked windows.
"I’m going to see how bad it is,” he told Susan, and when out into the storm. She saw his blurry figure in the headlight, walking around the front of the car. A moment later, he jumped in beside her, soaking wet.
“The car’s not badly damaged, but we’re wheel-deep in mud,” he said. “I’m going to have to go for help.”
Susan swallowed nervously. There would be no quick rescue here. He told her to turn off the headlights and lock the doors until he returned.
Axe Murder Hollow. Although Ned hadn’t said the name aloud, they both knew what he had been thinking when he told her to lock the car. This was the place where a man had once taken an axe and hacked his wife to death in a jealous rage over an alleged affair. Supposedly, the axe-wielding spirit of the husband continued to haunt this section of the road.
Outside the car, Susan heard a shriek, a loud thump, and a strange gurgling noise. But she couldn’t see anything in the darkness.
Frightened, she shrank down into her seat. She sat in silence for a while, and then she noticed another sound. Bump. Bump. Bump. It was a soft sound, like something being blown by the wind.
Suddenly, the car was illuminated by a bright light. An official sounding voice told her to get out of the car. Ned must have found a police officer. Susan unlocked the door and stepped out of the car. As her eyes adjusted to the bright light, she saw it.
Hanging by his feet from the tree next to the car was the dead body of Ned. His bloody throat had been cut so deeply that he was nearly decapitated. The wind swung his corpse back and forth so that it thumped against the tree. Bump. Bump. Bump.
Susan screamed and ran toward the voice and the light. As she drew close, she realized the light was not coming from a flashlight. Standing there was the glowing figure of a man with a smile on his face and a large, solid, and definitely real axe in his hands. She backed away from the glowing figure until she bumped into the car.
“Playing around when my back was turned,” the ghost whispered, stroking the sharp blade of the axe with his fingers. “You’ve been very naughty.”
The last thing she saw was the glint of the axe blade in the eerie, incandescent light

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

scary stories 1

with halloween approaching i thought for the next couple of days i would share scary stories and poems. the first story i share is, of course, going to come from edgar allan poe. this story is the tell-tale heart; which is a personal favorite of mine. hope you enjoy.

the tell-tale heart

turkish publisher on trail and also getting an award for the same book.

A Turkish publisher on trial for publishing a classic erotic novel by French writer Guilliame Apollinaire has been recognised with a special award by the Geneva-based International Publishers Association.

Irfan Sanci, owner of publishing house Sel, is being prosecuted under article 226 of the Turkish penal code, an anti-obscenity law, for publishing a translation of Apollinaire's Les exploits d'un jeune Don Juan (The Exploits of a Young Don Juan). The novel, first published in 1911, features the escapades of a 15-year-old hero who impregnates three women, one of them his own aunt.

Sanci is due to receive his award from the IPA's Freedom to Publish committee on November 2nd at the Istanbul TÜYAP book fair, with his next court hearing currently scheduled for the morning of the same date.

Sanci said of his situation: "I am being punished in my own country but am also getting an international award. This is tragic. Everything aside, Apollinare's book, which is a part of the world's cultural heritage, is being tried for hurting the public's sense of shame."

-my thoughts on this: i love that the publisher is also getting an award for publishing this book.

Monday, October 25, 2010

liu xiaobo - day break

so i was reading some of liu xiaobo's poetry and i came across this poem and just wanted to share it. i love the last stanza. one of the best i've ever read.

for Xia

over the tall ashen wall, between
the sound of vegetables being chopped
daybreak’s bound, severed,
dissipated by a paralysis of spirit

what is the difference
between the light and the darkness
that seems to surface through my eyes’
apertures, from my seat of rust
I can’t tell if it’s the glint of chains
in the cell, or the god of nature
behind the wall
daily dissidence
makes the arrogant
sun stunned to no end

daybreak a vast emptiness
you in a far place
with nights of love stored away

6. 30. 1997

Sunday, October 24, 2010

morton arboretum

a week or two ago i went to the morton arboretum and there were these scarecrows that different kid groups have made. boy scouts, girl scouts and other groups like that. well one group had made this scarecrow librarian. it was amazing. here are the pictures of it. the little signs at the bottom are book titles. hurray for books and librarys and scarecrows!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Indonesia revokes book-ban law

For more than four decades, the attorney general's office could unilaterally prohibit publication or distribution of books deemed "offensive" or a "threat to public order." But the Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday, October 13th, such power should rest with a judicial court. In striking down the law, Judge Mohammad Mahfud told the court: "Any banning of books must be done through the legal process in a court."

"It's great," said historian Hilmar Farid. "It symbolizes the end of a period of darkness for all of us. It will allow future generations to learn the truth about everything, from science to history."

A group of authors and publishers whose books were banned last year asked the Constitutional Court to review the 1963 regulation that allowed it. Their books - and others - touched on sensitive topics like separatist-torn Papua province, inter-religious conflicts, the role of the military and even scientific research.

-my thoughts on this is that it's sad that they can still ban books through the legal process of the courts. but at least now there is a legal process and it's not just the attorney generals office that gets to decide. it's a step in the right direction. in my opinion there should be no book banning, but hey small steps.

Monday, October 11, 2010

world's biggest book

the worlds biggest book has been created. it's a six-by-nine-feet (two-by-three-metres) atlas. which you can buy for a cool $100,000. the book contains maps of whole continents, as well as sharp images of famous sites collaged together from 1,000 individual pictures. the book took around a month to produce and australian publisher gordon cheers is limiting the print run of his monster atlas to 31. he has already sold two volumes to museums in the united arab emirates and is confident he will sell the whole lot. cheers worked for british publishing giants penguin and then random house, but neither firm was interested in his project, so he left to found his own company.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2010 nobel peace prize

Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." The announcement was immediately met with a rebuke by the Chinese government, which said in a statement that "Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law," and that awarding him the prize ran "completely counter to the principle of the prize and is also a blasphemy to the peace prize." Liu is currently serving an eleven-year prison sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" through his writing and activism.

Friday, October 8, 2010

2010 nobel prize winner in literature

Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, "whose deeply political work vividly examines the perils of power and corruption in Latin America," was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Mr. Vargas Llosa is the 102nd person to win the literary prize and will receive about $1.5 million.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

a kids idea of reading in the 21century

september 29, 2010 — in the 2010 kids and family reading reporttrade, a national survey released today, children age 6 – 17 and their parents share their views on a wide range of topics regarding reading in the 21st century. the study, conducted by scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and harrison group, a leading marketing and strategic research consulting firm. This study was conducted by scholastic, in conjunction with quinley research and harrison group in the spring, 2010. it surveyed 1,045 children age 6-17 and their parents (for a total of 2,090 respondents) online, using knowledge networks nationally representative panel. here is what the study said.

-from the age 6 - 17, the time kids spend reading books for fun declines while the time kids spend going online for fun and using a cell phone to text or talk increases. Parents express concern that the use of electronic and digital devices negatively affects the time kids spend reading books (41%), doing physical activities (40%), and engaging with family (33%).

-The study also found indications that technology could be a positive motivator to get kids reading -- 57 percent of kids (age 9-17) say they are interested in reading an eBook, and a third of children age 9-17 say they would read more books for fun if they had access to eBooks on an electronic device. This includes kids who read 5-7 days per week (34%), 1 to 4 days per week (36%) and even those who read less than one day per week (27%).

-Eighty-four percent of parents acknowledge that today's kids have to know how to handle far more information than parents did when they were children. Yet one disturbing statistic suggests a need to strengthen the critical thinking skills of today's children -- 39% of kids (age 9-17) agree with the statement, "The information I find online is always correct."

-The study also reveals that today's children have a broad view of what constitutes reading: 25% of kids (age 9-17) think texting back and forth with friends counts as reading. Most parents don't agree – only 8% of parents count texting as reading. 28% of kids (ages 9-17) think that looking through postings or comments on social networking sites like Facebook counts as reading; only 15% of parents agree.

-The report found that the power of choice is a key factor in raising a reader. Nine out of ten children say that they are more likely to finish book they choose themselves. And parents don’t try to overly influence that choice toward award winners or classic literature. Nine out of 10 parents say "As long as my child is reading, I just want my child to read books he/she likes."

-66% of kids (ages 9 – 17) agree with the statement, "I'll always want to read books printed on paper even though there are ebooks available."

-86% of kids feel proud and have a sense of accomplishment when they finish reading a book.
-Only 50% of kids say reading books for fun is extremely or very important; compared to 89% of parents.
-71% of parents wish their child would read more books for fun. 75% of children (ages 9-17) say they know they should read more.


another installment of quotes. hope they inspire.

-"you will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm." - colette
-"'i wish to be loved by another', she answered. 'but i desire no man's pity.'" - eowyn from lord of the rings
-"love is like pissing your pants; everyone can see it but, only you can feel it's warmth." - ?
-"although i can accept talking to scare crows, lions and great wizards of emerald cities, i find it hard to believe there is no paperwork involved when your house lands on a witch." - dave james
-"life is pain, princess... anyone who says differently is selling something." - the princess bride
-"i'm not afraid of happy endings, i'm just afraid my life won't work that way." - jack off jill
-"to make you laugh is all i want." - early november
-"it's a dangerous buisness going out your front door." - lord of the rings
-"the appearance of law must be upheld, espically when it's being broken." - gangs of new york
-"society honors its living conformists and it's dead troublemakers." - mignon mclaughlin
-"fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity." - graffiti
-"the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous." - salvidor dali
-when i was a girl i was told that anybody could become president. now i'm beginning to believe it." - ?
-"where zen ends, ass kicking begins." - hyde from the 70s show.
-"sometimes that's all life is, one desperate act after another." - the sword of truth novels by terry goodkind
-"we all can be only who we are, no more, no less." - sword of truth novels by terry goodkind
-"and if you don't know where you're going any road will take you there." - george harrison
-"when i see, you're coming down the street my heart skips a beat." - george harrison