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Archive for November, 2009

Greg Heffley is a pretty typical middle school-aged boy. His parents embarrass him, his younger brother Manny is annoying, his older brother Rodrick picks on him, and he’s afraid that his nerdy best friend Rowley is going to negatively affect his (non-existent) popularity. And of course, Greg always has a cunning plan to fix things…except that it never quite works out the way he thinks it should. In fact, things usually end up worse.

The books are insanely popular, and with good reason: they are hilarious. Greg is an incredibly authentic narrator, and kids of all reading levels really identify with him. As Kurtis Scaletta so brilliantly summed up on FB: “He’s kind of a jerk but he always makes me laugh.”

Started as an online comic in 2004, the first one was published as a book in 2007. There’s even a Wimpy Kid movie in the works, due out sometime in 2010.

I enjoy them an awful lot. Anything that gets kids this excited about reading is a good thing; the fact that they’re actually well-written and enjoyable by fans of all ages is just icing on the cake!

Official Wimpy Kid site

Source: borrowed from library

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My Dad collects fonts, and sent me this link: Twilight fonts

The title says it all: Jimmy Fallon almost gets sued by Twilight producers

And three articles, from a variety of sources:

This is my favorite, and makes the best points (using the strongest language): The Edward Cullen Underpants Conundrum

A different take on sexuality as presented in Twilight: Sexual Longing in an Ab-Only World: The Twilight Saga

Some of these I agree with, others not so much: Top 20 Unfortunate Lessons Girls Learn From Twilight

ETA:
This pretty sums up how I feel about Twilight:

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I’m thankful that I got to watch “Mr Rogers Neighborhood” on TV growing up.

15 Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever

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Fascinating!

How Our Brains Learned to Read

Now I want to read the book, as geeky reading-related things always interest me!

More about the book and author Stanislas Dehaene.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for:

  • Mr Lush,
  • Lush Puppy,
  • all our stuff,
  • friends and family,
  • and that I only have to make one pie for today’s extravaganza.
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    Library as Netflix?

    Hayward libraries to borrow Netflix model

    Hayward’s fine-free library system

    While I think there is the kernel of a good idea in this plan, the very breezy answers the director provides to some questions give me pause.

    • Whenever three or more people are on the waiting list, an additional copy will be acquired. Er, is their budget unlimited??? We have lots and lots of books with 3+ people on the list–that just doesn’t seem like a viable number to me if they hope to continue this for any length of time.
    • Our collection has very few out-of-print items in the first place – we simply do not have the space in our buildings nor the demand from our community to justify storing older, little used items for very long. I’m sorry, but books go out of print ALL THE TIME. There is absolutely no way they can have “very few” out of print books in their collection, full of popular items though it may be.

    Basically, this looks like a big old FAIL-in-waiting to me, but I’ll be interested to see how it plays out.

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    Winners!

    The winners of Unshelved’s 2009 Pimp My Bookcart have been announced!

    I’m glad to see that my favorite was a runner up.

    Congrats!

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    Translation

    A marvelous article on translation and the power of language: McCulture

    I am lucky, in that I speak two other languages besides English. I can read the untranslated works of Nobel winners Herta Müller and Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio; in fact, there are no English translations of many of my favorite authors.

    When I decided it was time to go to grad school, I very seriously considered applying to the translation and interpretation program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, because I truly love to translate, and am good at it, but the languages I speak are not in high enough demand for me to be able to make a living at it. However, if I decide to pursue a second Master’s, this will be what I choose.

    Because of my unique situation growing up, I don’t self-identify as American. Oh sure, I can pass as one with no problem, and that’s what my passport identifies me as, but I’ve spent a third of my life not living in the US. There are many American concepts, actions, and traditions that completely baffle me.

    I attended St Olaf College, which strongly encourages its students to study abroad; my freshman year was the only year I spent entirely on campus. When I studied in Germany at the Universität Konstanz I lived in a dorm with other international students, and took all of my classes but one with German students; before I went to the university, I did an internship with a company that has now been assimilated by this conglomerate. When I studied in France at the Université Rennes 2 – Haute Bretagne I lived with a French host family and took classes with the other international students.

    I speak three languages more or less fluently, and I understand chunks of several more.

    There are things I cannot express in English, because there is no way to do so.

    I dream in other languages.

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    Some random library-related links that have been cluttering up my inbox for a while:

    Bookless Libraries? “Let’s face it: the library, as a place, is dead.” I respectfully disagree–they may be very different than they were back in The Good Old Days ™, but libraries are here to stay.

    Comic books are good for children’s learning “Parents should not “look down” on comics as they are just as good for children as reading books, a new study claims.” Reading comics is better than reading nothing. Not to mention that there are some fabulous graphic novels out there: Sandman, Perseoplis, Logicomix, and Maus, to name just a few.

    A Librarian Looks Like… Be sure to check out the PDF–there are some really good ones!

    Anne Waldman: Ode to a Library Card I want this on a shirt! 😀

    Library Party Hee. Our secret is now out. And yes, I will be downloading this.

    And one video: Library Flashmob at County Library, Tallaght

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    Jewelry

    Alas, this is sold out, but nifty nonetheless: Library of antique and scrap leather books for the neck – eleven miniature books

    Over at Dirty Librarian Chains, I like Chapter (also sold out), Poetry, and Unbound, should anyone feel inclined to buy me winter holiday presents. 🙂

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