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चलो स्कीम बनाए ये व्यंग्य दैनिक भास्कर में प्रकाशित हुआ. बाजार में त्योहार आते नही कि स्कीमें शुरु हो जाती है. फलां के साथ फलां फ्री आदि अब शापिंग की शौकीन महिलाओ को स्कीम के तहत कुछ भी फ्री का मिले तो खुश होना स्वाभाविक ही है पर स्कीम का अंत होता क्या है बेशक […]
Computer History सुनने में बेशक अजीब लगे पर एक समय ऐसा था जब बहुत लोगों ने कम्प्यूटर का नाम ही नही सुना था . उन्हें लेख के माध्यम से बताना पडता था कि कम्प्यूटर क्या होता है… दैनिक नवज्योति, जयपुर से प्रकाशित बच्चों के लिए लेख Computer History
Sometimes you get a big idea. And sometimes you get to make that idea a reality. This year my department was given funds to create big family programming, and I got the chance to build my idea: a giant cardboard maze that would encourage caregiver-child interaction and create a memorable library experience for customers of all ages.
Photo credit: Kahla Gubanich
Photo credit: Amy Seto Forrester
A families-only Harry Potter-themed after-hours party kicked off the maze, which measured 75’ long, 15’ wide, and 6’ tall, and sat smack-dab in the middle of the main hall of Denver Public Library’s Central Library. Customers lined up out the door to wait for their turn to explore the maze. A staff member at the maze entrance spaced out families in two minute intervals to avoid traffic jams. We also hid the four Hogwarts house crests inside the maze. Kids were given maze passports, and when they found a crest there was a staff member dressed as a Harry Potter character waiting to stamp their passport. This allowed us to have staff in the maze in case of emergency.
Other party activities included pin the sock on Dobby, magic wand decorating, and, of course, tasty themed snacks. Having a theme for the maze wasn’t necessary, but it did make the event easier to promote. Plus, it meant lots of kids came dressed as their favorite Harry Potter character.
After the party we left the maze up in our main hall for a week so customers of all ages could explore the maze. In addition to walking through the maze, customers could look down from the 2nd and 3rd floors to plan their route or watch others go through the maze.
DPL staff putting the maze together. Photo credit: Kahla Gubanich
Children’s librarian, Warren Shanks, showing off a stack of newly purchased cardboard. Photo credit: Amy Seto Forrester
I’d seen pictures of cardboard mazes online (thanks, Pinterest!), but I couldn’t find anything tall enough for adults. My goal was to create something that children and their caregivers could explore together. I wasn’t able to find any instructions online, so I decided to figure it out on my own. This process included lots of brainstorming and several mini-maze mock-ups. Here’s a list of things to consider, based on my experience.
Safety and Space. Measure your space and learn about your library’s safety rules and regulations. I met with the security, custodial, and facilities departments to get their input. From this meeting it was decided that we would have a minimum of 5’ of space on all sides of the maze. We also decided to include a third side entrance/exit to the maze in case of emergency.
Design the Maze. I had never designed a maze before so I was grateful to find some wonderful online resources. Jo Edkins has great info about maze layout and design and the tips on avoiding bottlenecks on Amazeing Art were useful. I found it helpful to first determine the entrances/exits and then divide the space into three “mini mazes.”
Shelvers Sarah Cosoer and Sallie King take a break from cardboard prep. Photo credit: Amy Seto Forrester
Planning and Paperwork. Make sure your plans are written down so others can understand them. This is the kind of project that requires teamwork and delegation, so it’s important that your paperwork is detailed and clear. Here’s a copy of the maze layout.
Purchase Materials. I purchased my materials from the following companies:
Some companies require a minimum number of a particular item per order.
Freight shipping can add a significant amount to the cost of materials.
Height of your loading dock. Ours is very low, so this impacted delivery.
Talk to a representative. I was able to get more accurate quotes and ultimately a
Warren uses a template to measure and cut a cardboard sheet. Photo credit: Amy Seto Forrester
lower price by emailing and talking on the phone with a representative.
Prep as much of your maze ahead of time as possible. Call in your volunteers, friends, and family! Cutting and labeling our boxes required approximately 20 hours of prep time.
Putting It Together. It took us approximately 10 hours with 5 people working steadily to put the maze together with the prepped materials. This includes the 5 hours we used to construct 45 maze units the day before the event and stored them in our storytime room. The day of the event we had another 5 hours to assemble the other units and zip-tie them all together. Check out the step-by-step Maze Construction Instructions.
Templates used for cardboard prep. Photo credit: Amy Seto Forrester
Yes, this maze took a ton of planning and staff labor, but it was worth it. From a numbers point of view, it was gratifying to have 300+ people come to the after-hours party. But it was even more satisfying to see the smiles, hear the laughter, and watch our customers find joy in exploring the maze. The maze was also an entry point for staff-customer interaction and encouraged customers to visit our 2nd and 3rd floors to look down on the maze. In short, it was an unforgettable library experience!
Two poems for my readers . . . and wishes for a joyful Thanksgiving.
Autumn By Emily Dickinson
The morns are meeker than they were, The nuts are getting brown; The berry's cheek is plumper, The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf, The field a scarlet gown. Lest I should be old-fashioned, I'll put a trinket on. In Harvest By Sophie Jewett
Mown meadows skirt the standing wheat; I linger, for the hay is sweet, New-cut and curing in the sun. Like furrows, straight, the windrows run, Fallen, gallant ranks that tossed and bent When, yesterday, the west wind went A-rioting through grass and grain. To-day no least breath stirs the plain; Only the hot air, quivering, yields Illusive motion to the fields Where not the slenderest tassel swings.
We will be celebrating Thanksgiving at my house tomorrow. It will just be Bookman and me. Since we’ve been vegan for over twenty years, we have created our own traditional Thanksgiving feast that does not center around turkey and stuffing and gravy. We make vegan enchiladas filled with tofu and vegetables and vegan cheese that we make from almond butter and other ingredients. On the side is brown rice and beans and tortilla chips.
We used to make these enchiladas several times a year but as they became our Thanksgiving feast we gradually stopped eating them at other times. Now it is a rarity to make them except at Thanksgiving. Because of this they have become something extra-special and we both start talking about them in anticipation as soon as the calendar turns to November.
We also have homemade pumpkin pie. The pumpkin was grown in our garden, adding an extra layer of satisfaction. Pumpkin pie is my most favoritest kind of pie. We used to buy graham cracker crusts but a few yeas ago Bookman learned how to make his own traditional pie crust and elevated our pie to even higher deliciousness.
While Thanksgiving is a great day for food, what makes it most special is sharing it with Bookman. Because it is just the two of us, it is a quiet, leisurely day. I keep him company while he is in the kitchen, read him poetry or silly magazine articles or just chat about this and that. It is one of the few days in the entire year that we give ourselves permission to not worry about chores or projects or errands, things that need to be done. Time is so often short and attention divided, to be able to give these things to the person I love most and also receive them in return fills my heart with joy and gratitude. That’s what Thanksgiving is about to me. It reminds me of how blessed I am and how much I truly have to be thankful for.
Allow me to spill some thankfulness on all of you. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, thanks for adding to my reading piles and lists, thanks for making this little part of the internet a fun and happy place, and thanks for your friendship and always being such kind and generous people. Whether or not you are celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, I hope your day is filled with love and gratitude and joy.
We have a special Thanksgiving treat for you! Natalie Lloyd, the author of A Snicker of Magic, has a brand-new story set in Midnight Gulch—a magical town full of mystery and enchanted ice cream.
If you liked A Snicker of Magic, then you’ll love this “spindiddly” story featuring Jonah Pickett (a.k.a. the Beedle). If you haven’t read A Snicker of Magic, then you’ll still love this sweet, heartwarming story.
विविधता मे एकता विविधता मे एकता ये हैं मेरी सहेलियां मारिया , जाहिदा और प्रीत कौर … और हम बहुत मिल जुल कर रहती है. वो मुस्लमान हो या ईसाई या फिर पंजाबन … मुझे मजहब नही पता बस इतना पता है कि वो बहुत अच्छी हैं और एक दूसरे के दुख दर्द मे काम […]
Japanese Department Store May Want to Look Up the Word 'Fucking'
If only we could have sat in on the meeting where the marketing team for this Osaka department store came up with the idea for their "Fuckin' Sale," spotted early this month by a reader of Jake Adelstein's Japan Subculture blog.
-There should be some cool English words on these signs. -How about "Fuckin' Sale?" -What's that mean? -Fuckin' means, like, really good. So it's a really good sale. -And there's no other meaning to "fuckin'? Nothing at all that might embarrass us on the internet? Remember what happened with our Save-a-Shit-Ton promotion…
Ahhh, now there is the follow up by Chen:
Mortified Japanese Department Store Cleans Up 'Fuckin Sale'
An Osaka department store's Fuckin Sale was one of the classic Engrish gaffes of our time. But the funny signs were quickly taken down after the internet freaked out about them.
According to a post last Saturday by the Japan expat blog Super Happy Awesome, the store, Gallerie, caught wind of the global snicker in the final days of the Fuckin Sale:
the sale is still on until Monday, but I spoke with the people from Gallerie earlier today (hurray, my Japanese is getting better!) and apparently they've decided to take down the fuckin' signs.
They also apologized for any offense taken over their hilariously offensive sign.
Why apologize? Those signs brightened the days of countless miserable office workers here in the states.
Super Happy Awesome also discovered the real reason why there was a "fuckin sale" in the first place. Apparently fuckin is an unfortunate pun on fukubukuro—"lucky bags." It's a New Years tradition for Japanese retailers to put their overstock from last year into big grab bags and sell them at a discount. (We had hypothesized a foul-mouthed American chef brought fuckin to Japan's shores.)
My NaNoWriMo ends today.1 The following is what I thought of the NaNo experience, which let’s be honest, is not aimed at someone like me, who’s already a professional writer with multiple novels already published for whom writing is my job. So take it with a massive grain of salt.
I have been writing every day for 56 days in a row.2 Twenty-five of those days took place during NaNo. Before NaNo I was averaging about 300 words a day. During NaNo I averaged 700 words a day.3
I already knew that gamification works on me. I’ve been using Scriveners’ Project Targets for years so that when I reach my word count goal my program congratulates me. Why, yes, I do take a bow.
Obviously, for me the NaNoWriMo word count goal is too high. It’s been at least a decade since I averaged anything like 1,667 words a day. So I went in with the lower goal of 10k words for the month in mind. I passed that goal on Day 12.
I enjoyed watching the word counts of my “writing buddies” going up. There definitely was an increased sense of camaraderie. I am not in this alone! Look at all these other people striving to finish their novels! Look at their bar graphs going up! I would love to have a stats page like the NaNo one for all my novels. I loved that bar graph.
But . . . by the second week the 1,667 words a day expectation was starting to get to me and the ever-increasing words per day in order to finish on time was really freaking me out. The line on the bar graph shows you every day where you’re supposed to be and I was never even close. I only hit 1,667 twice. I was starting to feel like a failure for not hitting 1,667 words a day and falling into the bad habit of typing in order to hit the word count, rather than choosing the right words. I was starting to hate that bar graph.
On day 16 I had a stern talk with myself: Are you a writer, Justine, or are you a typist?
I spent that day reading everything I’d written of this new novel, rearranging and deleting loads of it. It was my best writing day of the month. Not because it was a 1k day but because I was really happy with those words. I’d started to figure out what the novel’s about and where it’s going. I was beaming.
From that day on I went back to my usual practice of starting each writing day by reading over what I wrote the day before, editing it, and only then writing new words. I was back in the rhythm of my novel and feeling happy. I wasn’t thinking about word counts, I was thinking about the novel.
NaNo didn’t work for me because I struggled to get that massive word count goal out of my head. Yes, I wrote more, but much of that excess of words was more typing than writing.
I would have loved NaNoWriMo back when I was a teen writing obsessively and feeling like I was the only one on the planet who was trying to write novels. It would have given me a structure and a community. I would have been in heaven. And, wow, would I have blitzed that measly 1,667 words a day goal. Those were the days when I could write a 5k story in a day without breaking a sweat.4
Also back then I had no clue about rewriting. I thought you were supposed to produce perfection in your first draft. NaNo dedicating January and February to Now What? would have clued me into the whole rewriting thing much much sooner. How lucky you all are!
I won’t be doing NaNo again. I’m too competitive. I really wanted to hit that word count goal even though it would have played havoc with my RSI. Despite my self-pep talk I’m still annoyed I didn’t come close to 50k. But I’m really glad I tried it. I’ve been recommending NaNo for years without actually knowing how it worked. It really is a pretty sweet and easy to use interface.
It’s proven itself over and over again to be just the thing for new writers who keep getting in their own way. Finally, someone is giving them permission to just write! And they do.
It also had the lovely side effect of getting me to check in more frequently with my writer friends on where they are with the latest. Knowing that you’re not alone with your novel, that there other people sweating over theirs, is reassuring. We humans are social creatures. We mostly prefer to suffer together.
The following are some little tweaks I’d love to see on the NaNo pages:
I would love it if you could edit your stats page to put your own word count goal in. Mine would have been 300. It would have made that line on the bar graph far less intimidating.
More writing achievement badges! At the very least one for ever 5k increment would be lovely. The jump from the 10k badge to the 25k badge and then from the 25k one to the 40k one is too steep. More rewards = more better!
I’d also love it if the word counts continued to be visible even after people hit their 50k goal. So instead of just seeing that those writing buddies are WINNERS! you can see that they’ve continued writing. It would be a good reminder that hitting 50k is not the end goal—finishing a novel is. (For those who didn’t know 50k is a very short novel. Most are at least 60k. Razorhurst was 90k. It’s not a long novel.)
TL;DR: NaNo’s fab but didn’t work for me. However, my younger self would’ve loved it.
I’m ending early because I’m off to Adelaide for the historic first day/night test. I can’t wait!
That’s unusual for me. I usually take at least one day off a week but more usually two. I’ve been experimenting to see whether it makes my RSI worse. So far so good. I did have a flare up but that seems to have had more to do with trying a new treatment.
I also stopped blogging for the month of November so the jump in word count is not quite as dramatic as it looks but it’s still pretty dramatic.
Those are the days that led me to having RSI now. But I digress . . .
The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is an impressive (if shockingly poorly publicized) prize, without language or genre restrictions, and they've announced the winner of this year's prize -- Birth Certificate, Mark Thompson's Danilo Kiš biography.
(My preference is, of course, always for fiction, but they do always select interesting titles, regardless.)
See also the Cornell University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Summary: I share some of my process creating a faux Rolling Stone magazine cover of the Ramones. Giclee prints of the image are also made available! One of the assignments for my MFA program is that we are asked to create an illustration by look back into illustration history and finding an artist whom we admire, then we […]