JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans. Join now (it's free).
Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.
Viewing: Blog Posts from the Industry category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 123,666
How to use this Page
You are viewing the most recent posts from blogs in the Industry category in the JacketFlap blog reader. These posts are sorted by date, with the most recent posts at the top of the page. There are hundreds of new posts here every day on a variety of topics related to children's publishing. Scroll down through the list of Recent Posts in the left column and click on a post title that sounds interesting. Click a tag in the right column to view posts about that topic. You can view all posts from a specific blog by clicking the Blog name in the right column, or you can click a 'More Posts from this Blog' link in any individual post.
Simon & Schuster has created a new publishing unit called North Star Way which is designed to help authors find audiences and build their profiles.
The unit will work with authors to help them create strategies to expand their readership. The imprint will offer book publishing, as well as help online courses and subscriptions and seminars, workshops and panel discussions. In addition the company will help authors with mobile apps, video creation, audio book building and podcasting.
Vice President and Publisher Michele Martin will lead North Star Way. The unit will be dedicated to self-improvement and inspiration, mind-body-spirit, motivation, wellness and business inspiration and leadership titles.
The award recognizes “the very best in political writing and publishing.” The awards include ten categories chosen by a panel of political celebrity judges and the prizes were donated by Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC.
Dan Brereton broke into the comics scene in the late 80’s/early 90’s with books like The Black Terror from Eclipse, and The Psycho from DC Comics. His distinct painted art style stood out among the other comics being published at that time. In 1995 Brereton introduced his creator-owned series The Nocturnals to the world. The Nocturnals is a pulp style horror series about a bunch of supernatural crime fighters, starring a cast of colorful characters like Doc Horror, his daughter Evening AKA Halloween Girl, Firelion(a revived victim of spontaneous human combustion), and many, many more.
Digital book distribution firm Trajectory has created a new algorithm that aims to make book discovery better online.
The tool users metadata and keywords to scan the texts of eBooks in order to give readers and book buyers book recommendations. Using its “Natural Language Processing Engine,” the tool categorizes books on a complex level with the promise to understand the personality of a book. The engine then uses this three-dimensional understanding of a text to make recommendations for other books that a reader might be interested in. It’s not unlike what you might experience on Netflix or Amazon.
This new service is now available for book retailers, as well as libraries and schools to license.
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald has won the 2014 Costa book prize. The author will take home a £30,000 prize for the memoir, which tells her personal account of training a goshawk in order to deal with the death of her father.
“All of the judges felt passionately about this book and its wonderful, muscular, chiseled prose,” explained Robert Harris, chair of the final judges, in a statement. “This is a clever, accomplished piece of writing that everyone will enjoy. It melds a memoir about grief, a biography of TH White and is a wonderful evocation of nature and training a hawk. It’s unique, unforgettable, haunting and a natural book to win this prize.”
Zoe Gilbert won the 2014 Costa Short Story Award for her story, “Fishskin, Hareskin.” She will take home £3,500 in prize money.
Fluorescent proteins are changing the world. Page through any modern scientific journal and it’s impossible to miss the vibrant images of fluorescent proteins. Bright, colorful photographs not only liven-up scholarly journals, but they also serve as invaluable tools to track HIV, to design chickens that are resistant to bird flu and to confirm the existence of cancerous stem cells. Each day, fluorescent proteins initially extracted from jellyfish and other marine organisms illuminate the inner workings of diseases, increasing our knowledge of them and providing new avenues in the search for their cures.
It is important to realize that these incredibly useful and now very common tools might not have been found if it were not for decades of basic research funded by the US government — research that would probably not be funded by most current funding agencies as the research would be deemed too fundamental in nature and not applied enough to qualify for funding. This fundamental research that formed the basis for all the fluorescent protein based technologies, such as super-resolution microscopy and even optogenetics, was performed by Osamu Shimomura.
While a research scientist at Princeton University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Shimomura spent more than 40 years trying to understand the chemistry responsible for the emission of the green light in A. victoria, and in the process, he caught more than a million jellyfish. Every summer for more than twenty years, Shimomura and his family would make the 3,000-mile drive from Princeton, New Jersey, to the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor laboratory, where they would spend the summer days catching crystal jellyfish from the side of the pier. For 20 well-funded years at Princeton and an additional 20 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Shimomura spent his days, and sometimes his nights, unraveling the mysteries of the jellyfish’s glow.
The crystal jellyfish was the first organism known to use one protein to make light, aequorin, and another to change the color of this light, GFP. There was no precedence in the scientific literature for this type of bioluminescence, and so Shimomura had to break new ground. Additionally it was laborious and painstaking work to isolate even the smallest quantities of GFP. Fortunately Shimomura had both funding and a purist’s fascination with bioluminescence to unlock the secrets of GFP.
Although he was the first to discover GFP and isolate it, he was not interested in the applications of this protein. Doug Prascher, Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien were responsible for ensuring that the green fluorescent protein from crystal jellyfish, Aequorea victoria, has been used in millions of experiments all around the world. They took the next step, but without Shimomura’s first essential step there may have been no flourescent future.
Featured image: Aequorea victoria by Mnolf (Photo taken in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA, USA). CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Joining us today to answer your questions is Lisa Colozza Cocca, author of Providence, a YA novel from Merit Press/F&W Media plus almost a dozen nonfiction titles. We appreciate Lisa guiding us through our first post as she takes your questions and answers them with her warmth and insight. Plus, she's giving away a copy of her book! Check the Rafflecopter at the end!
Remember to get your questions in for next month's Ask a Pub Pro column. Just send an email to me, Susan Sipal, at AYAPLit AT gmail and put "Ask a Pub Pro Question" in your subject line. And thank you, Lisa!
Ask a Pub Pro - Lisa Colozza Cocca Responds to Questions on POV and Trends
Question: POV in YA:
I've written my first three YA\MG novels in first person past and first person present tense. While I enjoy first person, I'd still like to switch to third person with multiple POVs. Does the average YA reader insist on first person? I'm sure there are third person YAs out there, but I can't recall the last time I've read one.
-- Ron Estrada, author of: Now I Knew You, contemporary YA with a touch of the supernatural -- What if you visited heaven and everything you thought important turned out to be meaningless? And that you've ignored all that truly is important.
Since you’ve been thinking about exploring new-to-you POVs, you’ve probably Googled the topic and found thousands of posts on the subject. Most advocate first person for YA, because of the intimacy it builds between the reader and the character telling the story. This is a good reason to use first person, but by no means are you limited to that point of view. I think the only thing YA readers insist upon is a story they can connect with.
One advantage of third person over first person is it gives readers a broader view. This can be especially important if you’re writing fantasy and building a new world. Are there things in your story you want your readers to see or know that your main character does not notice or know? Third person narration can fill in the gaps. Have you read Ann Brashere’s Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants? It’s been quite a while since I read it, but if I remember correctly it is written in third person with multiple viewpoints. There are plenty of teens who read the Harry Potter series too. That series is another example of third person point of view.
I do think though you have to start with the story. Let the story you want to tell determine the point of view. Don’t pick a point of view and then shape a story around it. Story always comes first.
Of course, knowing how that story wants to be told isn’t always easy, is it? Try writing the first 1-3 chapters in first person. Then go back and write the same chapters in first person alternating viewpoints. Make a third run through the same story points, but from third person alternating viewpoints. Finally, try it with third person omniscient. Read through all versions several times. With the omniscient version, note how many times you ask your reader to flip from one character’s head to another. Is there time for the reader to develop a sense of loyalty to any one character?
If you’re just looking to explore POV, you could do the above exercise with an existing YA written by someone else. Rewrite the first chapters from different points of view and compare them.
Good luck with your next novel and with discovering how your story wants to be told.
Question: Trends & Originality:
As I've been writing my story, so many of the plot points that I thought were fairly original have come to the public consciousness recently in other ways: controlling ones dreams (Inception), ley lines (The Librarians), Scotland (Outlander, and other books/shows set there). My question has to do with "riding the wave of popularity." I'm worried that by the time my WIP is polished and sent to an agent, the answer I'll get back is "it's too derivative, we need something fresher." What do you suggest?
-- Suzanne Lucero, her WIP: In Dreams Unbidden, a YA novel. When an American teen visits Scotland for the first time she starts catching glimpses of the future in her dreams, some harmless, some deadly.
I suggest you finish writing and polishing your story. What you’re experiencing is pretty common – that feeling of ‘that’s my idea!’ while reading another book or watching a show. I understand your concerns. If an agent or editor has already received fifty queries for books on Celtic trails will she even consider query 51? Maybe not, but maybe she will if it is a really well-written query. Maybe she will because even though you imagine she has received countless queries on the topic, in reality she hasn’t. There are so many ‘maybes.’
The point I’m trying to make is you can’t predict what an agent or editor will be looking for at some point in the future. I think that can be a good thing. It gives you the freedom to write the story inside of you. As writers, we have to let go of the things we have no control over – like shifting markets. We have to focus on what we do control. So push those little doubtful voices out of your head. Make your manuscript the best story you can write and then send it out into the world. Once you have, start writing your next great story. Take each hurdle as it comes and don’t give up until you’ve reached your goal.
About the Author:
Lisa works full-time as a freelance writer and editor of curriculum materials. She is also the author of a dozen books for the school and library market. Her personal goal at the moment is to have three days in a row where everything on her to-do list actually gets done. PROVIDENCE is her first trade novel.
Maya Christina Gonzalez is an award-winning author and illustrator. In this post, cross-posted from her website, Maya shares why she decided to make her new picture book, Call Me Tree/ Llámame árbol, completely gender neutral.
You may or may not notice something different about my new book, Call Me Tree. Nowhere in the story are boy/girl pronouns used. No ‘he’ or ‘she’ anywhere! I found it easy to write this way because that’s how I think of kids, as kids, not boy kids or girl kids.
I even requested that no ‘he’ or ‘she’ be used anywhere else in the book, like on the end pages or the back cover when talking about the story. I also asked the publisher to only refer to the main character as a child or kid when they talked about my book out in the world. Because I wanted Call Me Tree to be gender free!
Why? I’m glad you asked. Two reasons come to the top of my mind:
First, I know a lot of people. Some don’t feel that they fit into the boy or the girl box and of course, some do! By not using ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I could include everyone! This is very important to me. I want everyone to know that we all belong!
And second, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about the main character in Call Me Tree. Let’s call them ‘Tree.’ Tree is like a lot of people I know, including my own kids! Strong, curious, free! Now, if you were going to guess if Tree is a ‘he’ or a ‘she,’ which do you think?
I’m going to guess you’d say ‘he’ first, maybe because Tree’s already been called ‘he’ by folks who have given Call Me Tree some really awesome reviews. Tree could be he, but maybe not! A lot of times we make guesses based on what we think is true, but sometimes that can leave people out.
Tree’s reminding us there are lots of different ways to be!
I just remembered another top reason.
People who don’t fit into the boy or the girl box get teased more than anybody. This is extra not cool to me. I happen to know all kids rock, so I want to make sure the ones that get picked on the most know they rock! Right?!
Those who go through this flowchart will encounter scenarios such as “I have many followers on social media” and “sobbing uncontrollably in a bathroom.” We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think?
Melville House plans to publish the U.S. edition of Owen Jones’The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It.
A release date has been scheduled for May 2015. The book originally came out in the United Kingdom back in September 2014.
According to the press release, “the book, which details the rise of the far right and the leftist backlash and its impact on power structures in British and European politics, has gotten blanket coverage in UK media and made numerous ‘best books of the year’ lists…being published in the U.S. just days before the most consequential UK elections in decades, The Establishment is a sweeping, controversial, and hugely acclaimed account of wealth and political power from one of the UK’s brightest media stars.”
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you've wrapped the gift for your friend Julie, sealed it in a box, stuck stamps on it and then, as you're listening to the Beatles sing "Hey Jude," you address the package... to Jude. OOPS!
Now what? Well, if you're Barney, you'll make a weird-looking cartoon heart over the word "Jude"...which sprouts legs and arms, a top hat and cane, and suddenly there's a host of fabulous creatures framing Julie's mailing address...a veritable celebration. That's a Beautiful Oops...a mistake made beautiful.
The point of this book is to encourage all of us to allow "the magical transformation from blunder to wonder," and as schools all over the world celebrate Beautiful Oops Day (in any month, on any day; a school could decide to celebrate Beautiful Oops Day each month), I wish we'd celebrated it when I was in school!
The Beautiful Oops Day website includes project ideas shared by teachers from all over the world to get you started. And here's a 1:41 minute video of Barney sharing with young students:
How does this translate to writing? I just happen to have a perfect example. Here's a new poem author Bruce Balan sent me just this week; beneath it is his "mistake" backstory:
THE PLAINTIFF CALL OF THE WILD by Bruce Balan
I submit to the court that this species has ignored the proper protocol: They’ve decided that it’s all for them and no one else; Not fish nor elk nor tiny eels. Their ills are real. They spoil and take break and forsake and maul every spot and plot and it’s not as if they don’t know… They do! They just ignore, which underscores my call. Please dear Judge, I do not intend to fawn, but I pray the court will look kindly on my call before my clients all are gone.
(c) 2015 by Bruce Balan. All rights reserved.
Bruce (whose newest book, The Magic Hippo, is available at the iTunes store, B&N, and Amazon) explains: "I was going to write a poem called The Plaintive Call of the Wild (it just popped into my head), but I misspelled plaintive and so ran with it…"
Perhaps today's Beautiful Oops lesson is RUN WITH IT!
So, thank you, Barney Saltzberg, for gifting us the space to make mistakes; to be human.Campers, stay tuned: on February 4, 2015, Barney will share a Wednesday Writing Workout on this very blog!
New cartoon today, as promised! I've had the sketch of this one sitting around for at least a week. I couldn't not draw this one. It made me snicker. Um, why, yes, it IS semi-autobiographical... Enjoy.
This work is copyrighted material. All... Read the rest of this post
There was a great change in peace settlements after World War I. Not only were the Central Powers supposed to pay reparations, cede territory, and submit to new rules concerning the citizenship of their former subjects, but they were also required to deliver nationals accused of violations of the laws and customs of war (or violations of the laws of humanity, in the case of the Ottoman Empire) to the Allies to stand trial.
This was the first time in European history that victor powers imposed such a demand following an international war. This was also the first time that regulations specified by the Geneva and Hague Conventions were enforced after a war ended. Previously, states used their own military tribunals to enforce the laws and customs of war (as well as regulations concerning espionage), but they typically granted amnesty for foreigners after a peace treaty was signed.
The Allies intended to create special combined military tribunals to prosecute individuals whose violations had affected persons from multiple countries. They demanded post-war trials for many reasons. Legal representatives to the Paris Peace Conference believed that “might makes right” should not supplant international law; therefore, the rules governing the treatment of civilians and prisoners-of-war must be enforced. They declared the war had created a modern sensibility that demanded legal innovations, such as prosecuting heads of state and holding officers responsible for the actions of subordinates. British and French leaders wanted to mollify domestic feelings of injury as well as propel an interpretation that the war had been a fight for “justice over barbarism,” rather than a colossal blood-letting. They also sought to use trials to exert pressure on post-war governments to pursue territorial and financial objectives.
The German, Ottoman, and Bulgarian governments resisted extradition demands and foreign trials, yet staged their own prosecutions. Each fulfilled a variety of goals by doing so. The Weimar government in Germany was initially forced to sign the Versailles Treaty with its extradition demands, then negotiated to hold its own trials before its Supreme Court in Leipzig because the German military, plus right-wing political parties, refused the extradition of German officers. The Weimar government, led by the Social Democratic party, needed the military’s support to suppress communist revolutions. The Leipzig trials, held 1921-27, only covered a small number of cases, serving to deflect responsibility for the most serious German violations, such as the massacre of approximately 6,500 civilians in Belgium and deportation of civilians to work in Germany. The limited scope of the trials did not purge the German military as the Allies had hoped. Yet the trials presented an opportunity for German prosecutors to take international charges and frame them in German law. Although the Allies were disturbed by the small number of convictions, this was the first time that a European country had agreed to try its own after a major war.
The Ottoman imperial government first destroyed the archives of the “Special Organization,” a secret group of Turkish nationalists who deported Greeks from the Aegean region in 1914 and planned and executed the massacre of Armenians in 1915. But in late 1918, a new Ottoman imperial government formed a commission to investigate parliamentary deputies and former government ministers from the Turkish nationalist party, the Committee of Union and Progress, which had planned the attacks. It also sought to prosecute Committee members who had been responsible for the Ottoman Empire’s entrance into the war. The government then held a series of military trials of its own accord in 1919 to prosecute actual perpetrators of the massacres, as well as purge the government of Committee members, as these were opponents of the imperial system. It also wanted to quash the British government’s efforts to prosecute Turks with British military tribunals. Yet after the British occupied Istanbul, the nationalist movement under Mustafa Kemal retaliated by arresting British officers. Ultimately, the Kemalists gained control of the country, ended all Turkish military prosecutions for the massacres, and nullified guilty verdicts.
Like the German and Ottoman situations, Bulgaria began a rocky governmental and social transformation after the war. The initial post-war government signed an armistice with the Allies to avoid the occupation of the capital, Sofia. It then passed a law granting amnesty for persons accused of violating the laws and customs of war. However, a new government came to power in 1919, representing a coalition of the Agrarian Union, a pro-peasant party, and right-wing parties. The government arrested former ministers and generals and prosecuted them with special civilian courts in order to purge them; they were blamed for Bulgaria’s entrance into the war. Some were prosecuted because they lead groups of refugees from Macedonia in a terrorist organization, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. Suppressing Macedonian terrorism was an important condition for Bulgaria to improve its relationship with its neighbor, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. In 1923, however, Aleksandar Stambuliski, the leader of the Agrarian Union, was assassinated in a military coup, leading to new problems in Bulgaria.
We could ask a counter-factual question: What if the Allies had managed to hold mixed military tribunals for war-time violations instead of allowing the defeated states to stage their own trials? If an Allied tribunal for Germany was run fairly and political posturing was suppressed, it might have established important legal precedents, such as establishing individual criminal liability for violations of the laws of war and the responsibility of officers and political leaders for ordering violations. On the other hand, guilty verdicts might have given Germany’s nationalist parties new heroes in their quest to overturn the Versailles order.
An Allied tribunal for the Armenian massacres would have established the concept that a sovereign government’s ministers and police apparatus could be held criminally responsible under international law for actions undertaken against their fellow nationals. It might also have created a new historical source about this highly contested episode in Ottoman and Turkish history. Yet it is speculative whether the Allies would have been able to compel the post-war Turkish government to pay reparations to Armenian survivors and return stolen property.
Finally, an Allied tribunal for alleged Bulgarian war criminals, if constructed impartially, might have resolved the intense feelings of recrimination that several of the Balkan nations harbored toward each other after World War I. It might also have helped the Agrarian Union survive against its military and terrorist enemies. However, a trial concentrating only on Bulgarian crimes would not have dealt with crimes committed by Serbian, Greek, and Bulgarian forces and paramilitaries during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, so a selective tribunal after World War I may not have healed all wounds.
Image Credit: Château de Versailles Hall of Mirrors Ceiling. Photo by Dennis Jarvis. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.
Winston Churchill’s Victory broadcast of 13 May 1945, in which he claimed that but for Northern Ireland’s “loyalty and friendship” the British people “should have been confronted with slavery or death,” is perhaps the most emphatic assertion that the Second World War entrenched partition from the southern state and strengthened the political bond between Britain and Northern Ireland.
Two years earlier, however, in private correspondence with US President Roosevelt, Churchill had written disparagingly of the young men of Belfast, who unlike their counterparts in Britain were not subject to conscription, loafing around “with their hands in their pockets,” hindering recruitment and the vital work of the shipyards.
Churchill’s role as a unifying figure, galvanising the war effort through wireless broadcasts and morale-boosting public appearances, is much celebrated in accounts of the British Home Front. The further away from London and the South East of England that one travels, however, the more questions should be asked of this simplistic narrative. Due to Churchill’s actions as Liberal Home Secretary during the 1910 confrontations between miners and police in South Wales, for example, he was far less popular in Wales, and indeed in Scotland, than in England during the war. But in Northern Ireland, too, Churchill was a controversial figure at this time. The roots of this controversy are to be found in events that took place more than a quarter of a century before, in 1912.
Then First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill was booed on arrival in Belfast that February, before his car was attacked and his effigy brandished by a mob of loyalist demonstrators. Later at Belfast Celtic Football Ground he was cheered by a crowd of five thousand nationalists as he spoke in favour of Home Rule for Ireland. Churchill was not sympathetic to the Irish nationalist cause but believed that Home Rule would strengthen the Empire and the bond between Britain and Ireland; he also saw this alliance as vital to the defence of the United Kingdom.
Loyalists were outraged. Angry dockers hurled rotten fish at Churchill and his wife Clementine as they left the city; historian and novelist Hugh Shearman reported that their car was diverted to avoid thousands of shipyard workers who had lined the route with pockets filled with “Queen’s Island confetti,” local slang for rivet heads. (Harland and Wolff were at this time Belfast’s largest employer, and indeed one of the largest shipbuilding firms in the world; at the time of the Churchills’ visit the Titanic was being fitted out.)
Two years later in March 1914 Churchill made a further speech in Bradford in England, calling for a peaceful solution to the escalating situation in Ulster and arguing that the law in Ireland should be applied equally to nationalists and unionists without preference. Three decades later, this speech was widely reprinted and quoted in several socialist and nationalist publications in Northern Ireland, embarrassing the unionist establishment by highlighting their erstwhile hostility to the most prominent icon of the British war effort. Churchill’s ignominious retreat from Belfast in 1912 was also raised by pamphleteers and politicians who sought to exploit a perceived hypocrisy in the unionist government’s professed support for the British war effort as it sought to suppress dissent within the province. One socialist pamphlet attacked unionists by arguing that “The Party which denied freedom of speech to a member of the British Government before it became the Government of Northern Ireland is not likely to worry overmuch about free speech for its political opponents after it became the Government.”
And in London in 1940 Victor Gollancz’s Left Book Club published a polemic by the Dublin-born republican activist Jim Phelan, startlingly entitled Churchill Can Unite Ireland. In this Phelan expressed hopes that Churchill’s personality itself could effect positive change in Ireland. He saw Churchill as a figure who could challenge what Phelan called “punctilio,” the adherence to deferential attitudes that kept vested interests in control of the British establishment. Phelan identified a cultural shift in Britain following Churchill’s replacement of Chamberlain as Prime Minister, characterised by a move towards plain speaking: he argued that for the first time since the revolutionary year of 1848 “people are saying and writing what they mean.”
Jim Phelan’s ideas in Churchill Can Unite Ireland were often fanciful, but they alert us to the curious patterns of debate that can be found away from more familiar British narratives of the Second World War. Here a proud Irish republican could assert his faith in a British Prime Minister with a questionable record in Ireland as capable of delivering Irish unity.
Despite publically professed loyalty to the British war effort, unionist mistrust of the London government in London endured over the course of the war, partly due to Churchill’s perceived willingness to deal with Irish Taoiseach Éamon de Valera. Phelan’s book concluded with the words: “Liberty does not grow on trees; it must be fought for. Not ‘now or never’. Now.” Eerily these lines presaged the infamous telegram from Churchill to de Valera following the bombing of Pearl Harbor the following year in 1941, which, it is implied, offered Irish unity in return for the southern state’s entry into the war on the side of Allies, and read in part “Now is your chance. Now or never. A Nation once again.”
Universal has wrapped up the casting process for the Steve Jobs movie.
According to Deadline, Michael Fassbender will play the titular role. Prior to his hiring, the movie studio tried to convince Christian Bale to take on the part.
Other actors who have also signed on for this project include Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley. Danny Boyle will serve as the director. Aaron Sorkin has been tasked with adapting Walter Isaacson’s biography for the script.
Matthew Inman (a.k.a. The Oatmeal) has partnered with Elan Lee and Shane Small to create a card game called “Exploding Kittens.” According to Mashable, Inman used artwork that had been previously featured in his popular webcomics.
The team launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $10,000; the project has drawn over $4.6 million in funding from more than 116,000 backers. We’ve embedded a video about the project above—what do you think?
A new trailer has been unveiled for the Insurgent film adaptation. Deadline reports that this trailer for “the Summit Entertainment sequel will be one of the Hollywood studio ads showing during the Super Bowl this weekend.”
The video embedded above offers glimpses of Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet reprising their roles as Beatrice “Tris” Prior and Jeanine Matthews. The movie c
It’s almost time for the ALA Midwinter Meetings! Are you #alscleftbehind and unable to make it to Chicago? Are you wondering how you can keep up with all that’s going on? We’ve got you covered! Check the ALSC Blog for photos, videos and information about what’s going on at Midwinter. You can also check in on Twitter; just track the hashtag #alamw15.
Seventeen bloggers have committed to offering short, frequent posts throughout the conference. They are:
Tessa M. Schmidt
Let me be the first to thank this wonderful group of volunteers!
Are there activities you hope we cover? Let us know in the comments below.
Bella is a head cheerleader at her middle school until her life takes an unexpected twist. Her rifle-like throwing arm takes her from the sidelines to becoming the starting quarterback in Nickelodeon’s newest live-action comedy series, Bella and the Bulldogs. Bella Dawson (played by Brec Bassinger) is a confident, caring, and talented teenager who suddenly finds herself fulfilling a lifelong dream. But she also has to navigate the world of her teammates Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky), and Newt (Buddy Handleson), without losing her two best friends, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar) from the cheer squad.
Photo: Jim Fiscus/ Nickelodeon
Are you a fan of the new show, Bella and the Bulldogs? Let us know in the Comments.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has recruited ten new writers to contribute pieces for its “Cultivating Thought” line.
Jonathan Safran Foerreturns to serve as both curator and editor. The participants include Neil Gaiman, Aziz Ansari, Augusten Burroughs, Walter Isaacson, Amy Tan, Paulo Coelho, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Barbara Kingsolver, Julia Alverez and Jeffrey Eugenides. The company’s cups and bags will feature short stories and illustrations.
Gaiman announced on his Facebook page that his piece focuses on “refugees and the fragility of the world.” Here’s an excerpt: “There are now fifty million refugees in the world today, more than at any time since the end of the Second World War. And at some point, for each one of those people, the world shifted. Their world, solid and predictable, erupted or dissolved into chaos or danger or pain. They realized that they had to run. You have two minutes to pack. You can only take what you can carry easily.” Follow this link to learn more. (via The Hollywood Reporter)
The list of explorers that changed the way we see the world is vast, so we asked Stewart A. Weaver, author of Exploration: A Very Short Introduction, to highlight some of the most interesting explorers everyone should know more about. The dates provided are the years in which the explorations took place. Let us know if you think anyone else should be added to the list in the comments below.
Pytheas of Massalia, 325 B.C.E.: The first known reporter of the arctic and the midnight sun.
The Greek geographer sailed out of the Bay of Biscay and did not stop until he had rounded the coast of Brittany, crossed the English Channel, and fully circumnavigated the British Isles. Pytheas was an independent adventurer and scientific traveler—the first, for instance, to associate ocean tides with the moon. Whether he made it as far north as Iceland is doubtful, but he somehow knew of the midnight sun and he evidently encountered arctic ice. Even conservative estimates give him credit for some 7,500 miles of ocean travel—an astounding feat for the time and one that justifies Pytheas’s vague reputation as the archetypal maritime explorer.
Abu ’Abdallah Ibn Battuta, 1349-1353: The first known crossing of the Sahara Desert
The greatest of all medieval Muslim travelers was a Moroccan pilgrim who set out for Mecca from his native Tangier in 1325 and did not return until he had logged over 75,000 miles through much of Africa, Arabia, Central Asia, India, and China. He left the first recorded description of a crossing of the Sahara desert, including the only eye-witness reports on such peripheral and then little-known lands as Sudanic West Africa, the Swahili Coast, Asia Minor, and the Malabar coast of India for the better part of a century or more. His journeys included some high adventure and shipwreck worthy of any great explorer.
Zheng He 1405-1433: China’s imperial expeditions
The “Grand Eunuch” and court favorite of the Yongle Emperor of China, Zheng He led seven formidable expeditions through the Indian Ocean. The first voyage alone featured 62 oceangoing junks—each one perhaps ten times the size of anything afloat in Europe at the time—along with a fleet of 225 smaller support vessels, and 27,780 men. With the admiral’s death at sea in 1433, the great fleet was broken up, foreign travel forbidden, and the very name of Zheng He expunged from the records in an effort to erase his example. In 1420 Chinese ships and sailors had no equal in the world. Eighty years later, scarcely a deep-seaworthy ship survived in China.
Christopher Columbus, 1492: God, gold, and glory in the discovery of the Americas
Lured by flawed cartography, Marco Polo’s Travels, the legends of antiquity, and the desire for title and dignity, Columbus weighed anchor on August 3, 1492, in search of a westward route to China and resolved, as he said in his journal, “to write down the whole of this voyage in detail.” From the Canaries, the seasoned navigator picked up the northeast trades that swept his little flotilla directly across the Atlantic in a matter of 33 days. The trans-Atlantic routes he pioneered and the voyages he publicized not only decisively altered European conceptions of global geography; they led almost immediately to the European colonial occupation of the Americas and thus permanently joined together formerly distinct peoples, cultures, and biological ecosystems.
Bartolomeu Dias, 1488: The first European to round the Cape of Good Hope
For six months, Portuguese commander Bartolomeu Dias battled his way south along the coast of Africa against continual storm and adverse currents in search of an ocean passage to India. Finally, unable to do much else, Dias stood out to sea and sailed south-south-west for many days until providentially around 40° south he picked up the prevailing South Atlantic westerlies that carried him eastwards round the southern tip of Africa without his even noticing it. The Indian Ocean was not an enclosed sea; it was accessible from the Atlantic by way of what Dias fittingly called the Cape of Storms and his sponsor, King João of Portugal, named the Cape of Good Hope.
James Cook, 1768-1779: The Christopher Columbus of the Pacific Ocean
James Cook did not in any sense “discover” the Pacific or its island peoples. But he was the first to take full measure of both, to bring order, coherence, and completion to the map of the Pacific, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and to disclose to the world the broad lineaments of Polynesian cultures. His voyages set a new standard for maritime safety and contributed decisively to the development of astronomy, oceanography, meteorology, and botany and to the founding, in the next century, of ethnology and anthropology. They also did much to integrate Oceania into modern systems of global trade even as they stimulated a fondness for the primitive and the exotic.
David Livingstone, 1856: The first European to transverse sub-Saharan Africa from coast to coast
Born in a one-room tenement in Scotland, this most famous of 19th century explorers had gone to Africa as medical missionary in 1841, but Livingstone’s wanderlust ran ahead of his proselytizing purpose. His sighting of the Zambezi river in June 1851 encouraged a vision of a broad highway of “legitimate commerce” into regions still blighted by the slave trade, and one year later he returned to explore its upper reaches, with the indispensable guidance and cooperation of the indigenous Makololo and other tribes. In May 1856, after years of harrowing travel, he became the first European to traverse sub-Saharan Africa from coast to coast
Nain Singh, 1866-1868: The first cartographer of the Himalayan Mountains
Starting in the winter of 1866, Nain Singh began a two-year trek across the Himalayan Mountains. Known to his British employers as “Pundit No. 1,” Singh surveyed the height and positions of numerous peaks in the Himalayan range, and many of its rivers during his 1,500-mile trek. Recognized by the Royal Geographical Society on his retirement in 1876 as “the man who has added a greater amount of positive knowledge to the map of Asia than any individual of our time,” Singh provided Western explorers the tools to navigate on their own, rather than to rely on local guides.
Roald Amundsen, 1910-1912: The winner of the ‘race to the South Pole’
During his three-year journey through the Northwest Passage beginning in 1903, Roald Amundsen learned to adapt to harsh polar conditions. The Norwegian learned to ski, appreciated the essential role of dogs in polar travel, and adapted to some native Inuit practices. Above all, learning to think small—in terms of ship size and crew—and to travel light , helped him beat his rival explorer, Englishman, Robert F. Scott to the South Pole by over a month. Scott, who considered Amundsen an interloper with a passion for chasing records, died with his four-person crew eleven miles short of their food depot.
Alexander von Humboldt, 1799-1804: Enlightenment scientist and romantic explorer of Latin America
A Prussian geographer, naturalist, and explorer whose five-year expedition through Latin America cast him as a “second Columbus.” Humboldt confirmed the connection of two river systems, the Amazon and the Orinoco, and is most noted for his attempt to climb Chimborazo, then mistakenly thought to be the highest peak in the Americas. A crevasse stopped his team just short of the summit, but at 19,734 feet, they climbed higher than anyone else on record. Sometimes reviled as an example of the explorer as oppressor, one whose travel writing reduced South America to pure nature, drained it of human presence or history, and thus laid it open to exploitation and abuse by European empires, Humboldt has more recently been recovered as an essential inspiration of modern environmentalism.
Leif Eriksson (Son of Eirik the Red), 1001: Northern Europeans’ discovery of America
Bjarni Herjolfsson accidentally triggered the European discovery of America in about 985 when he was blown off course while en route from Norway to Greenland. His adventure stirred an exploratory spirit in his countrymen. Fellow Norseman Leif Eiriksson had no known destination in mind when he set out across the North Atlantic in the year 1001. He sought something new, found it, occupied it, and then returned to tell others. While his journey from Greenland to the “new world” occurred roughly five hundred years before Columbus, it was not immediately celebrated in print and made no lasting cultural impression. Still, Leif’s landfall in “Vinland” led to the first attempt at a permanent European settlement in the Americas at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland.
Featured image: “Hodges, Resolution and Adventure in Matavai Bay” by William Hodges. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
In July of 2014, Holiday House released The Mayflower written by Mark Greenwood. Illustrated by his wife, Frane Lessac, some people think it is a contender for the Caldecott. I sure hope not, but America loves its birth narratives and many segments of America refuse to see it in a balanced or accurate light.
Greenwood and Lessac provide that same romantic story, as shown on these pages (source: https://wondersinthedark.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/caldecott-medal-contender-the-mayflower/). Here's Squanto:
Amazon’s fourth quarter 2014 net sales reached $29.33 billion, a 15 percent increase compared to the $25.59 billion net sales the company reported in the fourth quarter 2013.
The company released its financial results for its 2014 fourth quarter, as well as its full year today. The company’s net sales were $88.99 billion, a 20 percent increase from the $74.45 billion it earned in net sales in 2013. Here is more from the press release:
Operating income was $178 million, compared with operating income of $745 million in 2013. Net loss was $241 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared with net income of $274 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, in 2013.
“When we raised the price of Prime membership last year, we were confident that customers would continue to find it the best bargain in the history of shopping. The data is in and customers agree — on a base of tens of millions, worldwide paid membership grew 53% last year — 50% in the U.S. and even a bit faster outside the U.S.,” stated Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.