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1. Preparing for INTA 2014, the first annual meeting in Asia

By Christopher Wogan & Ruth Anderson


In their new book A Practical Guide to Trade Mark Law, authors Amanda Michaels and Andrew Norris observe that:

In the past, products and services would have been purchased over the counter or by a personal transaction, but today purchases may be made in a plethora of ways, many of which involve no personal contact between the vendor or supplier and his customer. In such circumstances, advertising, PR, and image become increasingly important, and as a corollary the power of a trade mark to act as a distinguishing sign, guaranteeing the source and quality of goods or services, is increasingly vital to business.

This observation highlights both the importance of trade marks and trade mark law in the 21st century, and underlines the relevance of the upcoming meeting of the International Trademark Association in Hong Kong. The first annual meeting held in Asia, INTA 2014 presents a unique opportunity for colleagues, practitioners, and trade mark specialists to meet each other face to face, many for the first time. Take a look at the list of attendees for this year’s INTA.

Around 8,500 delegates from all over the globe will convene at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 10-14 May 2014. The programme naturally features a special focus on Asia, with eight sessions focused on hot topics and substantive case law updates in the region.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. hotot by Edwin. CC BY 2.0. via Edwin.11 Flickr.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Photo by Edwin. CC BY 2.0. via Edwin 11 Flickr.

The five-day conference is packed with informative panel discussions and networking events. Highlights include a session moderated by Karen Fong, from Rouse, UK entitled ‘What Role Will Trademarks Play in the Future of Asia?’, and ‘Trademarks at the Crossroads of Trade and Culture’ moderated by Irene Calboli, and including Oxford author Lionel Bently as a speaker. Both the Welcome Reception and INTA Gala are not to be missed.

Here are some of the conference events we’re excited about:

  • Saturday, 10 May, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: First-Time Attendee Annual Meeting Orientation
    First-time attendees and new members will find this orientation essential to surviving their first Annual Meeting. Learn from experienced Annual Meeting attendees about the many resources and opportunities for education and networking; also find out how to navigate the Exhibition Hall and make the best use of your time.
  • Monday, 12 May, 12:00-1:00 p.m.: Meet Oxford author Neil Wilkof
    Neil will be signing copies of Overlapping Intellectual Property Rights. at Oxford University Press booth #409.
  • Monday, 12 May, 3:00-4:00 p.m.: Meet Oxford author Amanda Michaels
    Amanda will be signing copies of the new fifth edition of A Practical Guide to Trade Mark Law at Oxford University Press booth #409.
  • Monday, 12 May, 5:15-7:00 p.m.: Academic and Young Practitioner Happy Hour
    Enjoy a cocktail with colleagues while discussing interesting new trademark law developments. Don’t miss this excellent networking opportunity for law and paralegal students, practitioners new to trademark law, as well as professors and adjunct professors.
  • Wednesday, 14 May, 7:00-11:00 p.m.: Grand Finale
    Enjoy your final night of the 2014 Annual Meeting at Hong Kong Disneyland.


But Hong Kong (香港) offers so much more. A gateway between East and West, Hong Kong is often at the intersection of trade, art, and culture. Located on China’s south coast, at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong (along with Macau) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China.

Here are a few tips on what to expect when you get to Hong Kong:

  • The weather in Hong Kong in May will be warm. Expect temperatures to reach between 24-29 degrees Celsius, 75-84 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • At the Convention and Exhibition Centre, free wi-fi is available for attendees with wi-fi-compliant devices in all exhibition halls and meeting rooms together with their foyers, all public areas, and the Centre’s restaurants.
  • There are seven restaurants at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, including Congress Restaurant which services extensive set lunch menus, and a dinner buffet with choice of savoury delicacies. The harbour view is a main attraction.
  • You find can find details of the floor plans of the Convention and Exhibition Centre on the web.
  • If you would like to try something different when you are in Hong Kong, why not visit Jumbo Kingdom, one of the world’s largest floating restaurants. It is situated in Aberdeen, and can seat up to 2,300 diners.

 

If you are lucky enough to be joining us in Hong Kong, don’t forget to visit Oxford University Press at booth number 409 where you can browse our award-winning books, pick up a sample copy of one of our intellectual property journals including Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice or Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases.

To follow the latest updates about the INTA Conference as it happens, follow us @OUPAcademic and the hashtag #INTA14. See you in Hong Kong!

Christopher Wogan is the Marketing Manager for Intellectual Property Law products at Oxford University Press. Ruth Anderson is Senior Commissioning Editor for Intellectual Property Law products at Oxford University Press.

Oxford University Press is a leading publisher in intellectual property law including the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, edited by Professor Jeremy Phillips, and Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases, as well as the latest titles from experts in the field, and a wide range of law journals and online products. We publish original works across key areas of study, from trade marks to patents, designs and copyrights, developing outstanding resources to support students, scholars, and practitioners worldwide.

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2. Science Poetry Pairings - Forests

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep," wrote the poet Robert Frost. I spent a lot of time in the woods as a kid, and still do today. When I lead science and outdoor education workshops I take teachers into the woods to look, listen, and learn. There is so much to discover by being still and observing closely.

Today's book pairing will invite and encourage readers to go into the woods and explore. 

Poetry Book
Forest Has a Song, written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Robbin Gourley, is a collection of 26 poems about the flora, fauna, and seasons of the forest. One time through will have readers puling on their boots and ready to take a slow, watchful walk through the woods. It opens with this poem.
Invitation
Today
I heard
a pinecone fall.
I smell
a spicy breeze.
I see
Forest
wildly waving
rows of
friendly trees.
I'm here. Come visit. Please?
One of my favorite forest activities to do with teachers is to take them to a site with decomposing logs and have them look over, under, and inside for signs of life. Amy has a poem just for that!
Home 
A rotten log is
home to bug
home to beetle
home to slug
home to chipmunk
home to bee
a lively living
hidden home
inside
a fallen tree.
Poems ©Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. All rights reserved.

One of my favorite poems in the book, Forest News, speaks of the stories that animal tracks tell when left in mud or snow. There are poems here about lichen and moss, as well as the owl, deer and woodpecker. For young and old alike, this is a lovely introduction to the forest.

Nonfiction Picture Books
Forest Explorer: A Life-Size Field Guide, written and photographed by Nic Bishop, is an oversized book that includes seven double-page photographic spreads of a North American deciduous forest in different seasons and different locations (forest floor, canopy, etc.). Designed as a guide to help students identify and learn about the creatures that live in the forest, more than 130 animals appear in these seven scenes.

Each habitat scene is shown life-size and is comprised of more than sixty different photographs that Bishop combined to create a single realistic illustration. (On the final page of the book he describes the meticulous work required to create the final products.) Animals in the scenes are shown engaged in the activities of daily life—hiding, feeding, hunting, waiting—and in different life stages.

Topics for the illustrations include:
  • Walking in Spring
  • The Leafy Understory
  • In the Treetops
  • Explore the Edge
  • After Dark
  • The Fall
  • Winter Survivors
Once readers have had a chance to study the illustrations, they turn the page to find detailed notes and a field guide to the animals and environment in the scene. Animals are named and identified in the narrative text by colored font. The text is engaging, understandable, and offers up interesting facts about the animals.

Bishop opens with a section on how to use the book. He also includes a section near the end entitled "Be a Forest Explorer," where he includes hints and projects for readers to explore a real forest on their own. He discusses finding a place to observe, keeping a journal, seasonal observation suggestions, forest safety, and more. Here's an excerpt.
March-April-May. Listen on warm damp evenings for wood frogs, spring peepers, and toads. Watch for the first spring wildflowers, then look for bumblebees and early butterflies feeding on them. Look for the first leaves to open. What trees do they belong to? See if you can find baby caterpillars and other insects that have just hatched. You may spot turkeys in forest clearings or hear woodpeckers drumming on tree trunks. Birds such as orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, and wood thrushes may migrate to your forest from farther south at this time to start nesting.
Text ©Nic Bishop. All rights reserved.

The book ends with a picture index that will encourage readers to go back and look yet again at the illustrations.

Perfect Together
FOREST HAS A SONG and FOREST EXPLORER will complement one another nicely, whether a few poems are read before a related scene is shown and studied, or an illustration is shared first, followed by some related poems and then the informational text. Both of these books present strong observations of the life of the forest, albeit in different language.

For additional resources, consider these sites.

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3. 5 BookBuzzr Widget Installations to Inspire You in April 2014

1. Barb Drozdowich – The Author’s Guide To Working With Book Bloggers (Building Blocks to Author Success Series)

 
 

2. P. O. Dixon - A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy and Elizabeth (A Pride and Prejudice Variation)

 
 

3. Valerie Twombly - Eternal Flame (Guardians, Book One)

 
 

4. Rebekah Pierce - Sex, Lies & Shoeboxes

 
 

5. Maxine Douglas - Blood Ties

 
 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


 

Naveen manages the social media marketing at BookBuzzr.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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4. Celebrate 404 Day!

On April 4, 2014, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) teamed up to celebrate 404 Day- the day that honors this little message that pops up when there’s an error and you can’t access a webpage. The OIF and EFF took this opportunity talk about the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Enacted in 2000, CIPA was written to address concerns about the exposure of children to pornography and other explicit content, through the implementation of browser filters.  Additionally, public and school libraries that adhere to CIPA and apply to filters to at least the internet devices in their children’s department, are eligible for government funding.  More information on CIPA can be found at the FCC website and the OIF website as well.

Through a Google+ Hangout streamed on YouTube, Intellectual Freedom buffs Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Sarah Houghton, and Chris Petersen talked about what CIPA really means for libraries, how to cope with CIPA, and how to get your board to reconsider CIPA.

Since the Hangout is available for you to watch here, I won’t rehash the whole thing, but I will share some important points:

  • Many people think they understand CIPA fully, but they actually don’t.  If you don’t understand ask questions!
  • Filters are mainly English-centric.  If you have access to a translator page or spell some of the search terms wrong, you will most likely be able to bypass the filter.
  • Only lighter skin tones are recognized as skin tones.  Therefore, a filter might block any variation of this.
  • When asked the best way to start a library board to reconsider their filters and compliance with CIPA, Sarah recommended moving the conversation from a conversation about morality to a cost benefit analysis.  For example, how well are the filters doing their job?  Do things get blocked by the filter, that shouldn’t be? How much does it cost to have these filters in both time and money?

Also, Deborah shared that the OIF will be releasing a new white paper at the end of the month on the topic of CIPA and its role in your library.

Remember, the ALSC IF Committee is always here for you if you have questions about intellectual freedom issues or if you are facing a challenge (it doesn’t have to make the news!).  We’re here to help, so feel free to reach out via ALA Connect or email.

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5. Children's Books Buzz - April 19, 2014

Cover - The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi KnightThis week the buzz was all about Star Wars. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) has announced good news for Star Wars fans. DPW is publishing four new children's books based on the original Star Wars film trilogy.

The first book, The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight,, which is a picture book written by Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles), will be released in October 2014. The additional three Star Wars saga retellings will be written by popular children's authors R.J. Palacio (Wonder), Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm), and Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda series). (Source: Star Wars: Disney Media Release, 4/17/14)

(Cover art courtesy of Disney Publishing Worldwide)

Children's Books Buzz - April 19, 2014 originally appeared on About.com Children's Books on Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 21:32:47.

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6. ...yes, it's from 2009. BUT STILL.

Love, love, love, love, LOVE THIS MAN.Hat tip to Jules. This work is copyrighted material. All opinions are those of the writer, unless otherwise indicated. All book reviews are UNSOLICITED, and no money has exchanged hands, unless otherwise... Read the rest of this post

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7. YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – April 18, 2014

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between April 18 and April 24 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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8. Three Ways to Teach Etched In Clay by Andrea Cheng

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators.

1. Teaching Students About Narrator Bias

Etched In Clay is a compelling case study for narrator bias and trustworthiness. The text structure with 13 narrators and its economy of words make Dave’s story captivating, especially to middle grade Etched in Clay written and illustrated by Andrea Chengstudents who are beginning to engage with primary sources from the period of American slavery. Students can analyze how each speaker’s social experiences, status, motivations, and values influence his/her point of view, such as evaluating the poems of the slave-owners who would have had a vested interest in popularizing a particular narrative of slavery.

Using multiple perspectives to tell the story of one life is a striking display of how events can be interpreted and portrayed by different positions in the community. Students face the task of examining the meaning and nuance of each narrator (13 in total!) and what they choose to convey (or don’t).

Discussion questions include:

  • Why might the author choose to share Dave’s story using multiple speakers? How do multiple narrations develop or affirm the central idea?
  • How do the author’s choices of telling a historical story in present tense and first person narration affect our sympathy toward the narrators and events in the book?
  • Select a poem, such as “Nat Turner,” and defend why the author chose a particular narrator to tell that event or moment. How would the event and poem be different if another, like Reuben Drake, had told it?
  • Are there narrators the readers can trust more than others? Why or why not? What makes a narrator (un)trustworthy? How is each narrator (un)reliable? Why might one of these narrators not tell readers the “whole” truth? Does having more than one narrator make the story overall more reliable? Why or why not?
  • How does a narrator’s position in society or in Dave’s life affect what he/she knows? How does the historical context affect what a narrator may or may not know and his/her reliability? How can readers check a narrator’s knowledge of facts?
  • What is the motivation of each narrator to share?
  • Does this alternation between narrators build compassion or detachment for Dave in readers? How so?
  • Why is it important to learn the history of slavery from slaves themselves?
  • Compare and contrast the conditions of slavery from Dave’s point of view and Lewis Miles.
  • How do the slaveholders depict the relationships with their slaves? How do the slaves depict their relationships with the slaveholders?
  • Compare Dave and Lewis Miles’ perceptions of the Civil War.
  • Consider whether Dave and David Drake should be considered one perspective or two.
  • Contrast how each narrator feels about antebellum South Carolina.
  • Who might be the audience the narrators are telling their version of events to (themselves, God, a news reporter, etc.)? Are they the same? Why is intended audience important to consider?
  • Argue whether 13 points of view flesh out this figure or make Dave and his life even more elusive.

2. Poetry Month and Primary Sources

As “Primary Sources + Found Poetry = Celebrate Poetry Month” suggests, the Library of Congress proposes an innovative way to combine poetry and nonfiction. Teaching With The Library of Congress recently re-posted the Found Poetry Primary Source Set that “supports students in honing their reading and historical comprehension skills by creating poetry based upon informational text and images.” Students will study primary source documents, pull words and phrases that show the central idea, and then use those pieces to create their own poems.

This project not only enables teachers to identify whether a student grasps a central idea of a text, but also encourages students to interact with primary sources in much the same way as Etched In Clay’s Andrea Cheng. When researching Dave’s life and drawing inspiration for her verses, Andrea Cheng integrated the small pieces of evidence of Dave’s life, including poems on his pots and the bills of sale.

3. Common Core and the Appendix B Document

Many middle school educators are currently using Henrietta Buckmaster’s “Underground Railroad,” a recommended text exemplar for grades 4-5, and Ann Petry’s Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, Written by Himself, recommended text exemplars for grades 6-8 in the Common Core State Standards’ Appendix B document.

Educators can couple Etched In Clay with those texts to involve reluctant or struggling readers, prepare incoming middle school students, and scaffold content and language for English Language Learners. Additionally, Andrea Cheng’s biography offers educators an inquiry-based project for ready and advanced readers to analyze “how two texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9).

For a more inclusive, diversity-themed collection of contemporary authors and characters of color, check out our Appendix B Diversity Supplement.

Further reading:

Andrea Cheng on Writing Biography in Verse

A Poem from Etched in Clay


Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: African/African American Interest, appendix b, CCSS, close reading, common core standards, Educators, ELA common core standards, History, National Poetry Month, poetry, reading comprehension, slavery

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9. YABC Mailbox Book Haul - April 2014 + Giveaway (US only)

 

Hey guys! Ready to see what we got in the YABC Mailbox this past month?
First, here's the mess I made unboxing it all:

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I bet you already spy some goodies in there, don't you? 

On to the book haul!

 

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Some great titles from Random House Kids! And look, a diverse YA heroine! Woot!

 

I'm just a *tad* excited to have LET THE STORM BREAK in my hands. 
Great haul from Simon Teen and Random House Kids!

 

Some more Simon Teen pretties and two from Merit Press!

 

Here we have beauties from HarlequinTeen, Orbit, and Sourcebooks. 

 

Titles from Scholastic, St. Martins, Disney/Hyperion, Macmillan, and Entangled Teen!

 

Gorgeous hardbacks from Harper Teen!

 

You want more Harper Teen titles? *hands you some*

 

Still not satisfied? *hands you MOAR HARPER TEEN*

 

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What? Still not enough? You guys are hard to please. 

 

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Ooooh and finally, Candlewick in the house!

 

 

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Pretties from Candlewick, Scholastic, and Simon Kids.

 

Cuties from Scholastic and Simon Kids. 

 

Adams Media, Candlewick, Random House Kids, and Peachtree.
How much does everyone need the Fairies book? Cuz I *needs* it.

 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has Middle Grade Mania with these spring titles!

 

Moar Candlewick, Peachtree, and Random House Kids. I absolutely adore the Alice-Miranda books!

 

Some incredible hardback cover art from Candlewick and Random House Kids.

 

 

 

 

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I love these little 3D pocket guides from Candlewick. I have a dozen of them and still need more!

 

Mother's Day picture books! Nothing more adorable.
These are from Random House Kids and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

 

A few for the older kiddos from Candlewick. Gimme the Lizzy Bennet's Diary, please!

 

Beautiful full color picture books from Disney/Hyperion, Candlewick, and Peachtree.

 

 

Giveaway Time!

Which books are you most excited about? Fill out the rafflecopter form below and leave your picks in the comments. I'll pick two of you to choose a book from the current Prize Shelf (shown below). 

 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 







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10. The Fun Home debate continues in South Carolina.

Fun homeFrom the NYT:

The College of Charleston, a public university, provided copies of Ms. Bechdel’s memoir to incoming students for the 2013-14 academic year, as part of its annual College Reads! program that tries to encourage campus-wide discussion around a single book each year. The books are not required reading.

But one state representative, Garry Smith, told South Carolina newspapers this winter that he had received a complaint about “Fun Home” from a constituent whose daughter was a freshman at the college. Mr. Smith contacted the college to ask about other options for College Reads!, and said he was told there were none. Mr. Smith then proposed cutting $52,000 – roughly equivalent to the cost of the reading program, he said – from the college’s $20 million appropriation from the state. The budget cut is now moving through the legislature; South Carolina news media coverage indicates some sizable political support for the cut.

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11. Henry James, or, on the business of being a thing

By Jeff Sherwood


It is virtually impossible for an English-language lexicographer to ignore the long shadow cast by Henry James, that late nineteenth-century writer of fiction, criticism, and travelogues. We can attribute this in the first place to the sheer cosmopolitanism of his prose. James’s writing marks the point of intersection between registers and regions of English that we typically think of as mutually opposed: American and British, Victorian and modernist, intellectual and popular, even the simple good sense of Saxon-Germanicism and the fine silk shades of Franco-Romanticism. Thus, because his writing defies easy categories, it isn’t hard to suppose that James belongs in the back parlor of English-language history, a curiosity of passing interest, but one which, in its very idiosyncrasy, fails to capture the ‘ordinary, everyday’ language.

Henry-James-books-656x485

Henry James in the OED

Nevertheless, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) cites Henry James over one thousand times, often in entries for common English words like useturn, comedo, and be. At least one explanation for this preponderance is the fact that, precisely because James’s prose incorporates elements from so many different kinds of English, it is uniquely positioned to exemplify—and even differentiate between—very subtle distinctions of usage and meaning. Thus, at green adj. James’s early novel The American provides a downright crystalline use of the phrase green in earth to mean ‘just buried’: ‘He thought of Valentin de Bellegarde, still green in the earth of his burial.’ By adding the final (semantically superfluous) three words, not only does James clarify the phrase’s context, he accentuates its poetic wordplay; its dependence on the double sense of green both as ‘new’ (sense 7a) and as ‘covered with vegetation’ (sense 2a) in order to conjure the renewal of the earth that is part and parcel of the burial rite. In this case, poeticism, often an obstacle to meaning, is actually the most probable explanation for the collocation’s longevity.

This old thing?

James’s ability to write prose that is both fastidiously discerning and euphemistically elliptical is not accidental, and cannot fail to intrigue someone whose business it is to describe words all day. In fact, despite clearly affectionate attachments to a number of words (presence and relation leap to mind), the one I would nominate as James’s absolute favorite is of great concern for lexicography—the thoroughly common word thing. Meaning quite literally any-thing from the genitals (sense 11 c) to a work of art (sense 13, complete with a James citation), thing is remarkably Jamesian in its ability to denote both the most concretely literal elements of reality and the most rarefied abstractions of human thought. And it is in just this respect that the word presents itself at the heart of perhaps the most naïve yet essential question that the lexicographer must answer: whether any particular meaning associated with a given word is actually ‘a thing.’ At times, this can be quite easy: it is not difficult to evaluate whether the physical object we mean when we say ‘smart phone’ is a ‘thing.’ But in many cases, the ‘thing’ referred to by a word is only conceptual. The existence of what we mean by ‘freedom’, for example, cannot be empirically proven. All we can say for sure is that the frequency and manner in which people use such words strongly suggests that they mean specific ‘things’.

Philosophically speaking, what makes ‘thing’ so interesting is that it straddles the gap between words that refer to physical objects and those that refer to abstract concepts, serving as a kind of verbal ‘junk drawer’ where items from both groups get casually tossed, only to wind up completely tangled and confused. Unsurprisingly, this confusion is just what James chooses to explore in his short story ‘The Real Thing.’ Its protagonist is an illustrator visited by two aristocrats, Major and Mrs. Monarch, who have fallen on hard times. They volunteer themselves as models for the artist, presuming that as bona fide members of society they are more suitable subjects for the aristocratic characters he depicts than the working-class types he typically employs. In fact, of course, the couple is awkward and unnatural, unable to embody the concept of aristocracy despite being literal examples of it.

Defining the tooth fairy

In just the same way, when a particular word is used ‘in the real world’, it will almost never be a perfect example of the concept it refers to. Consequently, it becomes the lexicographer’s job to improve upon ‘the real thing’, to illustrate a word more vividly than the real world can. This is especially clear when the word being defined refers to a fictional character, like the tooth fairy. To give wholesale priority to this term as a lexical object would render a definition like ‘a fairy that takes children’s baby teeth after they fall out and leaves a coin under the child’s pillow.’ This covers how the term is ordinarily used, since in everyday speech we are not in the habit of constantly remarking on the key conceptual detail that the tooth fairy is not real. Nevertheless, a definition that fails to note this misses, paradoxically enough, ‘the real thing.’ Just as Major Monarch doesn’t quite look like ‘the real thing’ he is, sometimes a word used in everyday speech doesn’t quite capture the thing it really is.

Jeff Sherwood is a US Assistant Editor for Oxford Dictionaries. Read more about Henry James with Oxford World’s Classics. A version of this article originally appeared on the OxfordWords blog.

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Image: Montage of Henry James Oxford World’s Classics editions.

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12. Jot Down Writing Ideas With Six Word’s New iPhone App

allsixwordsYou are walking down the street and have a great idea, but as soon as you get back to your computer it’s gone. All writers have experienced it.

Lawrence Smith, the founder of the storytelling community SMITH Magazine, has created an iPhone app to help solve this challenge. Six Words is designed to help you quickly write down ideas in six words. Users can write six words on any topic and include a photo to help keep track of their ideas on-the-go.

There is a social component as well, for users that want to engage their ideas with the community. Writers can share their six words to get comments from the group and comment on others’ ideas. There is even “The Daily Six” and “Editor’s Note,” both of which highlight popular ideas.

 

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13. Dominique Ansel Celebrates Cookbook With Cronut Giveaways

dominique-ansel-9781476764191_lgWho doesn’t love free treats?

Famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel is celebrating his forthcoming book, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, by giving away free cronuts and cookie shots in New York City. Simon & Schuster has scheduled an official release date for the book on October 28, 2014.

According to Time Out New York, the giveaways will end at 5:30 p.m. today. Ansel has been revealing the locations of these giveaways via instagram and Twitter. So far, he and his team has been sighted at Washington Square Park, Union Square, Chinatown, and the Flatiron district.

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14. We're a Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Site Again! THANK YOU!



I got an email from Writer's Digest on Thursday letting us know we'd been honored as one of their 101 Best Websites for Writers for the second year in a row. And I honestly can't begin to tell you how grateful I am--how grateful we all are! We are in phenomenal company, which is even more astonishing.

One of the most wonderful things about this award is that it truly recognizes the team effort that goes into creating a blog like this. It would be an impossible, and far less rewarding, task for any one person to undertake. But the recognition is far broader than our core team of myself, Alyssa, Clara, Lisa, and Jan. It truly goes to the authors and publishers who contribute posts and interviews and books to us to share with you guys each week. Bringing their words to you is what this site is all about.

Writing is a lonely endeavor so much of the time. Being able to share it with other writers makes it easier. Being able to learn from authors generous enough to give their insight, wisdom, and expertise is beyond price. Finding new favorite books is even better, because I truly believe there is no better way to learn craft than reading fabulous books.

We want this site to be an intersection between readers and writers, a place where readers and authors connect about the love of the journey and celebrate each other.

Ordinarily, we would post a giveaway in honor of a hallmark like this, but the honor came just a day after I posted a the huge giveaway to celebrate reaching two million page views, so I think that's celebration enough. : ) The giveaway for that post is here, and to make a long story short, you'll find twenty prize packs in there including thirty-eight different books or series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Holly Black, Anne Blankman, Libba Bray, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rae Carson, Kresley Cole, Leah Cypess, Kimberly Derting, Lisa Gail Green, S.E. Green, Wendy Higgins, Rosamund Hodge, Clara Kensie, Kimberley Griffiths Little, Marie Rutkoski, Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor, Kat Zhang and more.




That should take care of the reading portion of our celebration.

To showcase the writing portion, I've asked Alyssa and Jan to go through and pull together a list of popular or helpful posts on writing craft and getting published. Here's the list they came up with.


There are a LOT more posts. Check the labels and browse around.

We hope you'll find something helpful on this list and on the site in general, something that will inspire you, get you past a hurdle, and push you a little further along the publishing path.

I can honestly say that everything that you'll find on this site is material that I've experimented with and applied to my own writing in the past four years. This site is how I learned to write.

I can't say often enough that I know luck plays a huge part in getting a book published and into the hands of readers. I feel beyond blessed every single day that Compulsion was picked up and that I have the opportunity to work with the incredible team at Simon and Schuster and Simon Pulse. (And I have news I can't even share yet about how wonderful they are!)

That said, though, luck isn't all that goes into it. We have to be brutally critical of our own work. As writers, we have to be ready for luck to strike. It's no surprise that so many of the writers I've met online or at writers workshops have been published or are in the process of being published. We can't control which manuscripts get picked up by agents or ultimately sell, but we can get our manuscripts to publishable level. And to do that, we have to learn everything we can about craft. The writers I've seen succeeding are those who write all the time, read all the time, and question and eagerly pursue learning as part of the process.

I've been lucky to learn from most of the websites mentioned in this year's issue, as well as many who aren't on the list.  Writers Helping WritersJanice Hardy, and Jami Gold are three sites you don't want to miss, and Mystery Writing Is Murder, Victoria Mixon, Anne R. Allen, Jane Friedman, The Plot Whisperer, Writer Unboxed, YA Highway, The SCBWI, Querytracker, Adventures in Agentland, Rachelle Gardner, Nathan Bransford and so many others have been my go to sites for years. I can't believe we're on a list with Mashable, Absolute Write, and Goodreads, for Pete's sake. How awesome is that? Mind. Blown. But I truly wish the list was longer. So many people and great sites deserve it.

Thank you all!  Thank you to Writer's Digest. Thank you to the amazing authors and publishers who make this happen. Most of all, thank you to Alyssa, Clara, Lisa, and Jan, without whom this site simply would not exist!

Happy writing, everyone,

Martina





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15. Netflix Releases Trailer For ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 2

Netflix has released the trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black.

The video embedded above features scenes with Taylor Schilling as Piper ChapmanKate Mulgrew as Galina “Red” Reznikov, and Uzo Aduba as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” WarrenFollow this link to hear the cast describe the forthcoming season in three words.

According to Time, “the series premiered to critical acclaim last summer, and though Netflix does not release its audience data, it was rumored to have outpaced Netflix’s other popular originals, including House of Cards and the Arrested Development reboot, in viewership.” All 13 episodes of season two will come out on June 06, 2014.

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16. Reinventing rites of passage in contemporary America

By David Yamane

“It has often been said that one of the characteristics of the modern world is the disappearance of any meaningful rites of initiation.”

Mircea Eliade made this comment in his 1956 Haskell Lectures on the History of Religions at the University of Chicago (subsequently published as Rites and Symbols of Initiation). The qualifier meaningful in Eliade’s statement is significant, because something so fundamental to human societies (across cultures and over time) as rites of initiation do not simply melt into air, modernity notwithstanding.

An initiation near the Sepik River

Initiation ritual along the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea in 1975. Photo by Franz Luthi. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Contemporary ritual studies luminary, Ronald Grimes, highlights a unique and contradictory aspect of Western industrialized societies when it comes to initiation, one perhaps implied by Eliade. “Initiation goes on all the time,” Grimes writes in his book, Deeply Into the Bone: Re-inventing Rites of Passage. But we lack “explicit or compelling initiation ceremonies.”

The centrifugal forces of modernity have rendered the initiation that does take place in Western industrial societies more diffuse, haphazard, individualized, and even sometimes only imaginary. In the face of this, some communities are attempting to create or re-create rites of passage that are mindful and intentional.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, less than a decade after Eliade’s lectures, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church meeting at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) called for a restoration of the “catechumenate”—the ancient process for ritually initiating adults. As I noted yesterday, this culminated in the publication in 1972 of Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum, subsequently translated into English in 1988 as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

In his work on re-inventing rites of passage, Grimes does not mention the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), but he could have. In “returning to the sources” in the ancient church for an earlier model of initiation (what French theologians call ressourcement), the creators of the contemporary RCIA engaged in the very process of reinvention that Grimes calls for.

Anointing with Holy Oil

Anointing with Holy Oil. Photo by John Ragai. CC 2.0 via Flickr.

When fully implemented, the RCIA process takes those considering becoming Catholic on a journey through four distinct periods of formation which are demarcated by three ritual transitions.

Period 1: Evangelization and Precatechumenate

The opening stage of the RCIA process is intended to introduce individuals to the Catholic faith and to answer questions about it. Also during this period individuals are paired with sponsors, members of the church who will accompany the individual on their journal toward initiation.

Ritual Transition 1: Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens

Those who decide to continue in the RCIA process go through this first of three major ritual transitions. During a liturgy individuals are asked to affirm their acceptance of the Gospel of Christ and the assembly is asked to affirm their support of the candidates. The passage to the status of “catechumen” is then ritually enacted by the priest, catechist, or sponsor tracing the sign of the cross on the forehead (and often also the ears, eyes, lips, chest, shoulders, hands, and feet) of the candidate.

Period 2: Catechumenate

This is the main time of formation for those seeking initiation. The purpose of this period is to give catechumens “suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life” through catechesis, community, liturgy, and service (RCIA, no. 75). Once catechumens are ready to receive the sacraments of initiation they must publicly declare this and go through a ritual transition to become one of the “elect.”

Ritual Transition 2: Rite of Election

Typically held the first Sunday of Lent and presided over by the bishop, this ritual brings together individuals in the RCIA process from the entire diocese so that for the first time the candidates are able to see and experience the church writ large. In this rite, God “elects” those catechumens who are deemed ready to take part in the sacraments of initiation and who affirm their desire to do so. The candidates’ names are enrolled in the diocesan “Book of the Elect” which is countersigned by the bishop who declares them ready to begin their final period of preparation before initiation.

Period 3: Purification and Enlightenment

This period focuses on spiritual preparation for the rites of initiation and coincides with the 40 days preceding Easter, known as the season of Lent. As part of their spiritual cleansing, the elect undergo three public “scrutinies” which typically involve prayer over the elect and an “exorcism” enacted by a laying on of hands by the presider. The elect are also ritually presented the text of the Nicene Creed and Lord’s Prayer. At the conclusion of this period, the elect undergo the most significant ritual transition: the reception of the sacraments of initiation.

Ritual Transition 3: Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation

This moment of incorporation—literally becoming part of the body of the church—normatively and most often takes place during the Easter Vigil, what Augustine called “the mother of all holy vigils.” In and through this ritual, individuals receive the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation, and eucharist) and in doing so become Catholic.

Period 4: Mystagogy

This is sometimes called the period of “post-baptismal catechesis” because it seeks to lead the newly initiated more deeply into reflection on the experience of the sacraments and membership in the church. It is a springboard from the RCIA community to the broader church community.

By the turn of the 21st century, more than 80% of American parishes were using some version of this RCIA process to initiate adults. Although it is not yet fully implemented in every parish, the RCIA is the officially recognized liturgical and catechetical process by which adults become Catholic today.

As a reinvented rite of passage, the RCIA process has been very successful at bringing individuals into the Catholic Church in a mindful, intentional, and compelling way. As I noted in my first OUPblog entry, it is also helping to shape the process of ritual initiation in other churches. I will suggest in my third and final entry that the RCIA, therefore, represents a bit of good news amid a lot of bad news for the Roman Catholic Church in the contemporary United States.

David Yamane teaches sociology at Wake Forest University and is author of Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American Religious Landscape. He is currently exploring the phenomenon of armed citizenship in America as part of what has been called “Gun Culture 2.0″—a new group of individuals (including an increasing number of women) who have entered American gun culture through concealed carry and the shooting sports. He blogs about this at Gun Culture 2.0. Follow him on Twitter @gunculture2pt0.

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17. Interactive Game of Thrones Map

gameofthronesGame of Thrones fans, listen up! There is an interactive Game of Thrones map available that lets readers track the paths of each character from Song of Ice and Fire.

The tool lets readers explore the map based on how far they into the book they are so far. Readers can set their chapter level so as to avoid spoilers. Readers can explore the paths of multiple characters at a time, to show how those characters have crossed paths.

Follow this link to explore the tool further.

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18. Together We Can Make a Difference

Imagine the impact if all of us who care about children and libraries arrived together in Washington urging our legislators to support the crucial work we do! Can’t make it to Washington? Neither can I. But you and I and children’s librarians everywhere can participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD). Every one of us can let our Senators and representatives in Congress know how important we are to our communities and to our nation’s literacy. VLLD this year is May 6. No time on May 6 to write a note? Any day from May 5-9 will do. But let’s do it together on these days so our voices will be heard.

The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee and ALSC’s Everyday Advocacy web site are supporting our members so that we can all participate in VLLD 2014. Find contact information for your Senators and Representatives at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/. Then, think about the issues that are most important to you. In the coming days, the Advocacy and Legislation Committee will be providing you with talking points on such issues as Library funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS); libraries, early learning, and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program; and support for school libraries in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Now, check our Everyday Advocacy VLLD page at http://www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy/take-action-vlld-14 for a growing wealth of resources.

Do your Senators and Representatives know that LSTA funds provide libraries with databases that are essential for students doing their homework and to citizens looking for help in writing resumes and finding jobs? Do they know that the IAL program is vital to students learning to function in the digital age? Will they support an ESEA bill that will maintain dedicated federal funding for school libraries and move us toward school libraries with state-certified school librarians in every public school? Do they know the work you are doing to prepare children for entering school and to foster literacy as they grow into lifelong learners?

Do your librarian colleagues know about VLLD? Perhaps not, but you can help spread the word to friends and fellow librarians. Through local listservs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media, you can help us swell the call for library support. The goal is to contact legislators between May 5 and May 9.

As funding for libraries is threatened, who among us cannot find five or ten minutes to let legislators know that our work is crucial to our country’s future? Participate in VLLD 2014. You’ll feel good about your participation. Together we can make a difference.

**************************************

Rita Auerbach, member of the ALSC Board and of the Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, and the Co-Chair of the Pura Belpré 20th Anniversary Task Force, wrote this post on behalf of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee.

 

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19. Samsung & Amazon Team on New eBook Club

samsungkindleSamsung has partnered with Amazon on a new Kindle app for its line of Galaxy devices. Like other Kindle apps, Kindle for Samsung, allows users to purchase and read eBooks and periodicals from Amazon.

In addition, the two companies have launched a free book service called Samsung Book Deals, which is only accessible through the app.

Samsung customers that download the app can choose one free eBook a month from Amazon for a year with their Samsung account.

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20. The continuing threat of nuclear weapons

By Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel


Out of sight. Out of mind.

Nine countries, mainly the United States and Russia, possess 17,000 nuclear weapons, many of which are hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki almost 70 years ago. An attack and counterattack in which fewer than 1% of these nuclear weapons were detonated could cause tens of millions of deaths and could disrupt climate globally, leading to crop failures and widespread famine. A greater conflagration could cause a “nuclear winter” and threaten the future of life on earth.

The recent tensions concerning Ukraine demonstrate that although 23 years have elapsed since the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons remain a clear and present danger to humanity. Persistent threats include accidental launch of nuclear warheads, proliferation of nuclear weapons among nations, potential acquisition and use of nuclear weapons by non-state actors, and diversion of human and financial resources in order to maintain and modernize nuclear arsenals in the United States and other nations.

Despite safeguards, accidental detonation remains a real possibility. A few years ago, a US Air Force plane transported six missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, unbeknownst to the pilot and crew. Twice, in recent weeks, it was revealed that as many as half of navy and air force personnel who maintain nuclear-armed missiles and would be responsible for launching them if commanded to do so had cheated on their competency examinations. In 1995, Boris Yeltsin, then president of Russia, had only a few minutes to decide whether to launch Russian nuclear-armed missiles against the United States in response to what, on radar, looked like a US air attack with multiple re-entry vehicles (MERVs); it turned out to be a rocket launched by a team of Norwegian and US scientists to study the aurora borealis.

Another major concern is that the leaders of the nine nations that possess nuclear weapons each have absolute authority — unchecked by other government officials or institutions, even in the United States — to launch an offensive or allegedly defensive nuclear strike.

Furthermore, proliferation remains a serious threat. During the past decade North Korea obtained nuclear technology and fissile materials, and developed and tested one or more nuclear weapons. At least until recently, Iran apparently was — and may still be — on the path to developing nuclear weapons. Given the widespread knowledge about nuclear technology and the potential availability of fissile material, non-state actors could acquire and use nuclear weapons.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Betty Puma, from the 5th Munitions Squadron, reviews a nuclear weapons maintenance procedures checklist as part of the Nuclear Surety Inspection (NSI) May 19, 2009, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. An NSI is designed to evaluate a unit's readiness to execute nuclear operations. Areas to be evaluated during the NSI include operations, maintenance, security and support activities needed to ensure the wing performs its mission in a safe, secure and reliable manner. This no-notice inspection is expected to conclude May 22. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara III/Released). defenseimagery.mil

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Betty Puma, from the 5th Munitions Squadron, reviews a nuclear weapons maintenance procedures checklist as part of the Nuclear Surety Inspection (NSI) May 19, 2009, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. An NSI is designed to evaluate a unit’s readiness to execute nuclear operations. Areas to be evaluated during the NSI include operations, maintenance, security and support activities needed to ensure the wing performs its mission in a safe, secure and reliable manner. This no-notice inspection is expected to conclude May 22. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara III/Released). defenseimagery.mil

Highly-enriched uranium (HEU) — the fissile material used in nuclear weapons — is distributed globally, and used in nuclear reactors to perform research or power aircraft carriers and submarines. Converting to low-enriched uranium would eliminate the possibility of HEU being stolen or otherwise diverted to produce nuclear weapons.

Yet another major concern is the huge diversion of financial resources to maintain and modernize the US nuclear weapons arsenal, estimated over the next 30 years to be about $1 trillion. The proposed nuclear weapons budget of the US Department of Energy for fiscal year 2015 is higher than at any time during the Cold War. Meanwhile, substantial cuts have been proposed in programs to dismantle and prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons — and in programs to reduce poverty and protect human rights.

To most Americans, all of these concerns are out of sight and out of mind. Each of us has a responsibility to become more educated about these issues, increase the awareness of other people about them, and advocate for measures to reduce the dangers associated with nuclear weapons, including the abolition of nuclear weapons.

A longstanding proposal to eliminate all nuclear weapons is the Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC). In 1997, a consortium of experts in law, science, public health, disarmament, and negotiation drafted a model convention. The Convention would require nations that possess nuclear weapons to destroy them in stages — taking them from high-alert status, removing them from deployment, removing warheads from delivery vehicles, disabling warheads by removing explosive “pits,” and placing fissile material under control of the United Nations. Such a convention has had wide public support throughout the world.

An immediate step that could pave the way to the Nuclear Weapons Convention and the eradication of nuclear weapons is a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Such a treaty could be negotiated with or without the participation of those nations possessing nuclear weapons. It could create an international norm of the illegality of nuclear weapons, similar to the norms that have been established concerning chemical and biological weapons, antipersonnel landmines, and cluster munitions. Such a treaty could put substantial pressure on the nations possessing nuclear weapons to comply with their disarmament obligations — which they have been unwilling to do thus far. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has mobilized 300 civil-society organizations in 90 countries to campaign, on humanitarian grounds, for such a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Given resurgent Cold-War-era arguments for revitalizing US nuclear-weapons capabilities to deter Russian actions in Ukraine, we must resist measures that would reset the “Doomsday Clock” to a point that places all humanity — and indeed all life on earth — in great peril of annihilation by nuclear weapons.

Barry S. Levy, M.D., M.P.H., and Victor W. Sidel, M.D., are co-editors of the recently published second edition of Social Injustice and Public Health as well as two editions each of the books War and Public Health and Terrorism and Public Health, all of which have been published by Oxford University Press. They are both past presidents of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Levy is an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Sidel is Distinguished University Professor of Social Medicine Emeritus at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein Medical College and an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. Victor W. Sidel was a member of the 1997 consortium of experts in law, science, public health, disarmament, and negotiation that drafted the model Nuclear Weapons Convention. Read their previous blog posts.

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21. Photo Book Recreates Classic Meals From Literature

ficticiousdishesHave you ever found yourself salivating while reading about meals in a book? Graphic designer Dinah Fried will take your hunger to the next level.

She has created a photo book of meals featured in classic literature called Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals which just came out on Harper Collins. The book includes fifty photos of meals photographs from books ranging from The Secret Garden to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Check it out:

Showcasing famous meals including the madcap tea party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the watery gruel from Oliver Twist, the lavish chicken breakfast from To Kill a Mockingbird, the stomach-turning avocado-and-crabmeat salad from The Bell Jar, and the seductive cupcakes from The Corrections, this unique volume pairs each place setting with the text from the book that inspired its creation. Interesting food facts and entertaining anecdotes about the authors, their work, and their culinary predilections complete this charming book, which is sure to whet the appetites of lovers of great literature and delicious dishes.

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22. Science Poetry Pairings - Rain

I may have grown up where snow was the weather that was most talked about, but my favorite form of precipitation has always been the rain. In our old house in the city I used to love to sit outside on the porch swing when it rained and rock to the beat of the drops, and sometimes the thunder. William and I still like to play in the rain in the summer and jump in puddles in our bare feet. My favorite rain is quiet rain, early in the morning.

Today's book trio celebrates rain in all its wonder. 

Poetry Book
One Big Rain: Poems for a Rainy Days, compiled by Rita Gray and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke, is a collection of 20 poems about rain through the seasons. Beginning with autumn, each section opens with a haiku about the season. Four additional poems follow. Gray includes eight haiku, two poems translated from other languages (Norwegian and Spanish), works by well-known poets like Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Eve Merriam, as well as works by poets whose names may not be familiar to readers. The illustrations in muted browns, grays, blacks and greens beautifully capture the mood and subject of the poems.

The book opens with an introduction that describes rain through the seasons. The introduction closes with these thoughts.
A gentle rain can shower, sprinkle, drizzle, or mist. Powerful rains beat down in storms and downpours, fall in streams and sheets, or race, rush, and gush in torrents. Rain can play a pinging beat as it falls will-nilly from the sky: pitter-patter, plip-plop, drip-drop, plink-plink. And puddles are perfect to splish-splosh. Poets have captured the language and rhythm of the rain, creating images that stay with us throughout the year.
          As you read about the rain, in various poetic forms,
          Ripple in it, float in it, boat in it.
          Go on, get wet.
Text © Rita Gray. All rights reserved.

Following the introduction is a note about haiku translations. Adapted from a work by poet and translator William J. Higginson, the emphasis is not on counting syllables, but on finding the best rhythm for the haiku in the new language.

Here's the poem that opens the season of spring.
Haiku—Rogetsu  
tree-frogs
calling . . . in the young leaves
a passing shower
And here's another poem from spring.
Little Snail—Hilda Conkling 
I saw a little snail
Come down the garden walk.
He wagged his head this way . . . that way . . .
Like a clown in a circus.
He looked from side to side
As though he were from a different country.
I have always said he carries his house on his back . . .
To-day in the rain
I saw that it was his umbrella!
Here's a sample spread from the book. You can download this from the Charlesbridge site as a double-sided poster.

The small trim size may make this one go unnoticed, but don't pass it up. It's a lovely little book of poems.

Nonfiction Picture Books
This Is The Rain, written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Jane Wattenberg, is a picture book about the water cycle that uses the familiar cumulative pattern of "The House That Jack Built." Bold, vibrant photo-collages accompany the text. It begins this way.
This is the ocean,
blue and vast,
that holds the rainwater from the past.
Can you guess where this goes? Next comes the sun to warm the oceans, which eventually forms vapor that fills the clouds, which produce the rain that falls. Here's the text from the page on rain.
This is the rain,
falling all day,
the forms in clouds,
low and gray,
full of vapor, moist and light
made when sunshine,
hot and bright,
warms the ocean, blue and vast,
that holds the rainwater from the past.
Text © Lola Schaefer. All rights reserved.

After passing through all stages of the water cycle, Schaefer circles back to the rain falling "somewhere every day." The book ends with a short note about the water cycle on planet earth.

When Rain Falls, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance Bergum, is a picture book that explains what happens to animals in different habitats when it rains. Each habitat section begins with the words "When rain falls ..." and goes on to describe how different animals respond. Stewart provides readers with glimpses of 22 different animals in a forest, field, wetland, and desert. The soft, watercolor illustrations are realistic and provide subtle details regarding each habitat.

Here's an excerpt from the section on a field.
When rain falls on a field . . . 
...plump little caterpillars crawl under leaves and cling to stems. Adult butterflies dangle from brightly colored heads. 
A raindrop knocks a ladybug off a slippery stem. The insect bounces into the air and then tumbles to the ground.  
A spider watches and waits as the rain beats down on its carefully built web.
Text © Melissa Stewart. All rights reserved.

The text is clear, concise, engaging, and easy to understand. Readers will learn much about how animals adapt to inclement weather.

Perfect Together
All three of these books explore rain in different forms. Whether studying weather or the water cycle (really, they should be taught together, but often aren't!) students can learn about what causes the rain and how people and animals react to the weather. In my classroom I'd start with Schaefer's book and look closely at the water cycle. Then I'd focus specifically on rain by reading a few poems and following up with Stewart's look at how animals respond to the rain.

For additional resources, consider these sites.

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23. Poetry Friday - Take 2!

If you could see my office right now, you'd probably be shocked at how messy it is. I have piles of books EVERYWHERE. All the books I've been pulling for my National Poetry Month posts, the books on economics from class last week, and all my inter-library loan books are scattered about the floor! I guess it makes sense that out of this chaos came these book spine poems from my collection of poetry books.

Poem 1

Summer beat
Messing around the monkey bars
Handsprings
Summersaults
Oh, grow up!

(I so wish I had a book titled Never!)


 Poem 2

Toasting marshmallows
Keeping the night watch
Flicker flash
Fireflies at midnight
Sky magic

If you haven't been by already, be sure to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge. Happy poetry Friday friends.

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24. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

At the beginning of the challenge, there’s a lot of excitement about starting; at the end of the challenge, there’s excitement (and sadness) over finishing the challenge; but in the middle, it’s kind of like the dog days of summer–at least for some. For me, each day is a new challenge. And speaking of challenges, don’t forget to check out my poetic challenge with a $500 grand prize (deadline: May 15). Click here for more details.

For today’s prompt, pick a color, make the color the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. You can make your poem black, white, red, purple, turquoise, puce, or whatever your heart desires. And the subject of your poem can cover any topic–as long as you’ve plugged a color into the title. Let’s do this!

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Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

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Here’s my attempt at a Color in the Title Poem:

“onyx”

my father would cover the windows
with heavy blankets the only light

a digital clock that counted slow
the minutes i didn’t have patience

but i knew how to listen and keep
silent i often wonder if he

knew i wouldn’t tell years later when
i did he said he could remember

nothing but admitted it could’ve
happened a decade keeping secrets

and keeping them alone that hurt most
father asking if i loved him and

saying to not tell a secret we
must keep and me wanting to escape

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Today’s guest judge is…

Thomas_Lux_poetThomas Lux

Thomas Lux’s most recent book of poems is Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). Selected Poems is due from Bloodaxe Books this fall.

He is also the author of several other books, including The Cradle Place and God Particles. In addition to poetry collections, Tom is the author of From the Southland, a book of literary nonfiction.

He holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded multiple NEA grants and the Kingsley Tufts Award and is a former Guggenheim Fellow.

Click here to learn more.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The title poem from that collection is about the relationship mentioned in the poem above. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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25. MARSHMALLOW CHICKS: A Poem for Easter

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Here is my poetry selection for the Friday before Easter. It’s about PEEPS©--which I used to love to eat when I was a little kid.



MARSHMALLOW CHICKS
By Elaine Magliaro

I hear them peeping

in their package,

beseeching:

Eat me!

Eat me!

I break open

their plastic shell,

hold soft hatchlings

in my hands.

One by one

I savor

a chattering of chicks,

chubby marshmallow chicks

coated with colored sugar.

I lick their bright yellow down

from my fingertips.

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You’ll find the Poetry Friday Roundup over at Life on the Deckle Edge.



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