Wednesday, October 21, 2009

European Union launches digital library

(CNN) -- The European Union has launched a digital library that offers documents dating to nearly 60 years ago, in 23 languages.

A way with words: new digital library "frees the EU tied to paper," said Leonard Orban.

All documents ever edited on behalf of European Union institutions, agencies and other bodies will be available in the library, the organization said in a news release.

"The digital library frees the memory of the European Union tied to paper since its beginning," said Leonard Orban, the union's commissioner for multilingualism.

The electronic library is free to individuals, companies and libraries worldwide, which can download documents as PDF (Portable Document Format) files, Orban said. About 12 million pages -- roughly 110,000 EU publications -- are available for download, according to officials.

"The millions of pages now accessible to everyone in the 23 official languages demonstrate the continued commitment of the European Union to preserve and encourage the history of the union in its linguistic diversity," Orban said.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Superheroes on display at UO comics exhibit

From the Oregonian
EUGENE -- Ben Saunders is all too familiar with the stereotypes associated with comics and superheroes.

There's the moldy oldie: Comics are "funny books," suitable only for kids.

The next version: Comics are trivial because they're only about superheroes, i.e., men in tights. Snicker.

And the most recent, highfalutin' edition: Comics are an art form, sophisticated, complex and varied, so anybody who brings up superheroes is an unenlightened boob who clearly doesn't get it.

Saunders, however, does get it. The University of Oregon associate professor of English thinks it's high time superheroes were rescued from their low-prestige status in the comics pantheon.

"In the last three years," as Saunders says, "comic studies has grown as an emergent discipline within the academy. And a lot of attention has been placed on what you'd call 'comics lit,' the Art Spiegelman version of the form." Spiegelman is the former underground comics creator who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for "Maus: A Survivor's Tale," his comic book memoir of the Holocaust.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Vatican Finally Shares Its Secret Stash of Astronomy Artifacts

From Gizmodo
The Vatican is holding an exhibit showing a collection of astronomy and space themed treasures, including this 18th century orrery.. I 'm just stunned that these beauties have been collecting dust somewhere, unseen and unappreciated for who-knows-how-long.

The Astrum 2009, Astronomy and Instruments' exhibition is running from October 16 to January 16, 2010 and just seeing some of the pictures in io9's makes me want to book a trip to Vatican City and stroll through space history. [io9
Send an email to Rosa Golijan, the author of this post, at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Wild Things" Hit the Streets of New York City

A much anticipated movie of a classic piece of writing by Maurice Sendak. It sure would be fun to be in NYC for this.
"Wild Things" Hit the Streets of New York City

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An Award maybe a little early, but a nice sign of International Acceptance

I try to keep things here on subject as to regards to things that involve books, and the literary world. This post is a little stray from this ideal, and into the world of politics. As most of you know I am a big fan of President Obama. I have thought he was the best choice for President, long before his candidacy was announced. I first read his book Dreams of my Fathers in 2005, and was quite moved by his story. While this award may be a bit premature in receiving, and acknowledging that their are many who have spent lifetimes towards bringing peace to a war torn region, people, and world, I do think President Obama is a fine example of someone who is working towards making this nation, and this world a place where we can all co exist, and fine peace and harmony in our everyday life.
- Doug

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hilary Mantel's Booker prize-winning novel sees off Dan Brown

Thomas Cromwell has seen off Robert Langdon after Hilary Mantel's Booker prize win on Tuesday night sent her novel Wolf Hall soaring ahead of Dan Brown in Amazon's bestseller charts.

Mantel's Wolf Hall, an historical novel about the life of Cromwell, the machiavellian schemer from the court of Henry VIII who oversaw the dissolution of the monasteries, was last night named winner of the £50,000 Man Booker prize. The win helped increase its Amazon sales by 1,500%, sending it leaping to the top of the online bookseller's charts and pushing Dan Brown's new novel The Lost Symbol, starring Harvard symbologist Langdon, into second place. Mantel's French Revolution-set novel A Place of Greater Safety also enjoyed a knock-on effect, with sales up almost 2,000%.

Mantel was voted winner of the Booker by three votes to two, beating former winners JM Coetzee and AS Byatt. "It was a majority decision but it was not unanimous," said judge John Mullan, professor of English at University College London, this morning. Mullan praised the "quality of her prose", which he said gets forgotten when the scope of the novel – a "Tudor soap opera", as Mantel has described it – is discussed. "Reading it for the third time, line by line, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, it's just a real delight. Fantastically well written," he said. "Her inventiveness, the glitter of the prose, is really remarkable."

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