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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, since 4/24/2008 [Help]
Results 20,676 - 20,700 of 534,042
20676. XMAS 2015 - one must dash

If you have no room for a Christmas tree you might like these art prints from One Must Dash. Described as being less hassle than a real tree they are aimed at people who are tired of traditional Christmas decorations. Designers Anki Josefsson and Anneli Sandström have produced two yuletide prints, Christmas is Golden and the DIY poster One Two Tree, to which you apply circular stickers to ‘

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20677. XMAS 2015 - marks & spencer

Now December has arrived lots of peoples thoughts will turn to Christmas cards and wrapping paper and today I wanted to select a few highlights from UK High Street store Marks & Spencer. They have a few choice contemporary designs including a wrapping paper kit (below) with a graphic tree print on kraft paper, neon ribbon and baubles mixed with confetti dots. I've also picked out some card

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20678. Guest Post and Giveaway: I’ll Be There by Samantha Chase

Hey, Everyone! It’s Samantha Chase and I am super excited to be here today with all of you at the Manga Maniac Café and talking about the newest book in the Montgomery Brothers series, “I’ll Be There”. This is book six in the series and we are looking at the crankiest member of the family – Zach Montgomery. He has a good reason to be that way, but he’s making life crazy for everyone around him. You see…well, I’ll let him tell you about it.

Hey, ladies! Zach Montgomery here. I don’t know about you, but I am a total adrenaline junkie. Or…at least I used to be. I’m not jumping out of planes any time in the near future but man oh man did I have some great trips doing that sort of thing and more! I have some amazing memories from each and every one of my trips but I’ll give you some highlights – you know, just in case you’re looking for your own adrenaline rush!

1. Great Barrier Reef dive – I’m normally more of a land – or sky – adventurer, but when I’m in Australia, the water calls! There is so much to see beside the reef itself – scorpion fish, parrot fish, fusiliers, sea snakes, crabs, shrimp, starfish and octopus…just amazing!

2. Whitewater Rafting in Zambia – No two white water rafting trips are the same and I’ll try it wherever I travel to. A great day excursion while visiting Victoria Falls is an amazing way to view the scenery and also have a thrilling adventure.

3. CN Tower EdgeWalk – I have to admit, I wasn’t so sure about this one but I’m glad I did it. The world’s highest full-circle, hands-free walk lets you stroll the top edge of the Lookout Level pod, more than 1,150 feet above the streets, held by nothing but a safety harness. Just don’t look down!

4. Bungee Jump Stockhorn: Bernese Oberland Mountains Plunge – There is never too many bungee jumping options! And bungee jumping in the Alps is an incredible experience. Dive more than 400 feet from a gondola in the Swiss Alps on one of the world’s most amazing bungee jumps. Plummet towards a lake during the free fall with the Bernese Oberland Mountains as your backdrop before you’re lowered into a waiting boat.

5. Zapcat powerboating – When I heard inflatable, I didn’t think they’d be exciting. Boy was I wrong! These inflatable catamaran hulls decked out with powerful racing engines are built purely for speed, and therefore thrills. The Gs can be brutal, and the jumps will make you wonder whether you’re sailing or flying, but there are few things on water that beat these bad boys for bragging rights!

Book #6 in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase’s popular Montgomery series

This Montgomery Has a Head for Business
Working for Zach Montgomery is challenging on many levels-coming from a wealthy and powerful family, he lives by his own rules and doesn’t answer to anyone. But Gabriella Martine has no intention of backing down. She’s used to handling stubborn men, and it doesn’t hurt that Zach is smart, charismatic…and gorgeous.
And a Heart for Adventure
Zach’s perfect world is turned upside down when a climbing accident leaves him broken, angry, and maddeningly dependent. In his slow quest for recovery, Gabriella is always there to help…but as Zach comes to see his beautiful assistant in a new light, he is forced to re-evaluate what it really means to be a man worthy of Gabriella’s love.

Montgomery Brothers Series:
Wait for Me (Book 1)
Trust in Me (Book 2)
Stay with Me (Book 3)
Return to You (Book 4)
Meant for You (Book 5)
I’ll Be There (Book 6)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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20679. Review – Adelaide’s Secret World by Elise Hurst

Highly talented artist, Elise Hurst‘s illustrations seem to metamorphose with every title, from fluid watercolours to fine ink lines and bold, sweeping strokes of oil colours. In this latter artistic style, differing to that of some of her other titles, including My Boots in Season and Imagine a City, Elise Hurst has produced an intriguing, […]

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20680. The EU and public procurement law

The stakes cannot be higher for the EU. Currently, the total public expenditure directed by the Member States in procuring goods, works and services accounts for over €1 trillion. Public procurement in the Member States is a highly fragmented and complex process.

The post The EU and public procurement law appeared first on OUPblog.

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20681. XMAS 2015 - superdrug

 Next up we have some cute characters on Christmas packaging spotted in Superdrug. The range is called Sweet Snuggles and features a whole range of gift products illustrated with sweet woodland and winter characters.

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20682. #NaNoWriMo2015 - Week #4 Final Update

My NaNoWriMo 2015 has drawn to a close.

This year was definitely different from last year where I felt out of sorts and scatterbrained the whole month I tried to write. I feel that this year was better; much better.

I had to bust a move this last week and trust me, it wasn't easy. That's alright, I chose to prevail and prevail I did. Tenacity is such a great thing to have in reserve when you need it.

I've said it every week but I will say it again. My greatest thanks goes to my best friend, Angela Markham. I think we motivated and pushed each other and benefited from it.

Thanks to Lyn Ehley, my favorite editor, and also Allan Baker (another of my editors) who were game enough to work on editing Jewels 2 in "real time" as I wrote it.

Jewels #2 will be released in January 2016 so stay tuned for news on that front.

NaNoWrimo 2015 Final Stats Wrap-up

Words written week #4: 25,399

NaNo final grand total: 50,416

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20683. Chewing a Bone with Tom Watson’s Stick Dog

Today, Kid Lit Reviews went venturing to a star’s home. Not sure where to go, or who would oblige, I found myself outside a large pipe under Highway 16, trying to make good use of a Map to the Homes of Kidlit Stars. It cost me 5 bucks and I was beginning to think I’d been scammed. …

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20684. Review: The Boy in the Black Suit

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2015. Reviewed from ARC.

The Plot: Everything has been different since Matt's mom died. It's his senior year of high school, but her loss makes him feel like a stranger. His father isn't coping.

Matt's done well in school, so he has half-days. He was supposed to do a work-study program, but, well, with his mom dying he wasn't in school so he lost his place. Still, he needs a job to fill up his time and to earn money to help his dad out.

At first when his neighbor Mr. Ray offers a job in his funeral home, Matt thinks "no way." He finds a strange sort of comfort in seeing the sorrow of others. Then he meets Lovey, who has lost her mother and now her grandmother, and it makes him rethink how he's been living, and how he's been grieving.

The Good: What is so frustrating about The Boy in the Black Suit is it sounds like a dead parent book. And, I guess, it is. Matt's mom has just died, and he that loss, her loss, is shattering, and part of this book is how he lives through that. But it's so much more than that, including funny and romantic.

Matt is an only child, and his parents were very much still in love, and his father takes his wife's loss badly. He starts drinking and ends up in the hospital, leaving Matt alone. Matt isn't really alone: there is his best friend, Chris, who proves to be a good friend by not treating Matt any different. And there is Mr. Ray, who Matt thought of as the old guy neighbor and who now becomes a mentor. And then there is Lovey....

I don't want to say Matt is happy when he sees others cry and break at a loved one's funeral. Instead, it makes him feel less alone in his own loss. It's cathartic. And Mr. Ray understands; he's had his own losses. Matt's dad and Mr. Ray show Matt ways of grieving, and then Lovey shows him another -- a way that mourns while celebrating. Matt falls for Lovey, but also sees another way forward.

Also good: The Boy in the Black Suit is set in Brooklyn, and there's a mix of people, from Matt's family and their brownstone to Chris's family in an apartment building. Matt describes his family as "I went from a not-so-fancy version of the Cosbys to a one-man family." Chris is being raised by a single mother; Lovey, by her grandmother. It's a variety of people and backgrounds, all in one same neighborhood.

Chris's mother is dead before the book begins, but her spirit and love is on every page. One thing his mom had done (even before she knew she had cancer) was to create a notebook of recipes, which she called "The Secret of Getting Girls, for Matty." It's partly a family joke, that girls like guys who cook. And it's partly her love for her son. And it's partly her saying Matty, yes, you need to know how to cook, for you. This notebook is lurking around, and part of the sweetness of this book is how Matt moves from living off fast food and take out, even though he knows how to cook and his this book, to being able to open the notebook without his heart breaking.

 Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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20685. Draw Tip Tuesday

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
Sometimes I get requests for my Draw Tip Tuesday video’s. One of them is: “Koosje, could you explain a little bit about using watercolours?” Whew, try doing THAT in a 2-to-3-minute video! I am not a watercolour specialist or conaisseur, but of course I can show you the things I know – and hopefully they will inspire you to make awesome art!

The post Draw Tip Tuesday appeared first on Make Awesome Art.

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20686. Best New Kids Books | December 2015

After taking a look at our selection of hot new releases and popular kids' books ... it's more than likely we're suckers for picture books about love, kindness, and compassion.

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20687. Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Kate Samworth

Author-illustrator Kate Samworth is joining me for a cyber-breakfast today with a big cup of black coffee and, she said, “since it’s a special occasion, an almond croissant.” Kate’s debut picture book, Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual, was released last Spring by Clarion and went on to win the 2014 Kirkus Prize […]

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20688. 2 Books to Help Children Think About Changing the World

I am exited to share these two books with my 3rd graders as we learn about our own community and ways we can help make our communities and our world better.

31 Ways to Change the World  is based on the idea that "Small Actions X Lots of People = Big Change".  The book is filled with ideas of things kids can do to make things better. They are small things such as "Make Someone Smile" and "Don't Charge Your Phone Overnight".  Each idea gives an explanation of how this helps.  The layout for each idea is different so kids can read the pages in any order they wish. This is not a book that needs to be read cover-to-cover.

Can We Help: Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities by George Ancona shares many ways kids help in their communities.  The book is filled with the ways kids of all ages can help in their communities and the photos show them in action.  There is a good variety of volunteer opportunities that I can see readers being inspired by one or more of the ideas shared. The book also gives the  message that volunteering and doing things for your community is a fun way to spend your time. 

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20689. Rochester Reading Champions: Literacy Tutoring for Every Community

RRC logoIn 2013, Rochester Public Library (MN) met with local organizations and community groups to figure out a way to work together to increase literacy rates. From these meetings a unique and sustainable program, called Rochester Reading Champions (RRC), was created.

This tutoring program reduces financial, transportation, and other barriers by training volunteers to offer free and targeted one-on-one Orton Gillingham tutoring to underserved individuals who are struggling to read. Orton Gillingham is a proven tutoring method requiring intensive training.

Through a partnership with The Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota, we currently  have 13 volunteers actively working with students. Through September 2015, these highly trained volunteers provided 450 free tutoring sessions. To date, 18 youth and adult students have participated in RRC.  Interim assessment results from 2015 show that students in RRC, who attended between 10-50 sessions made average gains of 20% in vowel sounds, 17% in consonant comprehension, and 32% in phonogram comprehension. This early RRC progress is very exciting!

Four innovative elements contribute to the success of RRC. First, Rochester Public Library worked with key partners to identify gaps, barriers, and local resources. Partnerships were created with local organizations committing staff time and other in-kind support. Second,  RRC relies on volunteers willing to commit to the intensive training and two years of tutoring. By investing in training for 8-10 new volunteers each year, RRC increases the number of tutors to meet the needs of our expanding community. Third, to reduce financial, transportation, and other access barriers for the students, RRC provides unduplicated and free tutoring to underserved struggling readers at the sites they already visit. Fourth, RRC students receive individualized lesson plans, twice per week for 45 minute sessions. With a standard intervention plan of 80-100 tutoring sessions, this intensive strategy produces at least a 20% improvement of skills.

Partners developed RRC to be sustainable within five years. Any community with strong civic involvement can provide a similar system by adapting RRC’s methodology (i.e. volunteer recruitment form, student in-take criteria, parent questionnaire, partnership agreement, assessment process, and evaluation plan). RRC is designed to be scalable and replicable for any community!

The post Rochester Reading Champions: Literacy Tutoring for Every Community appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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20690. Spotlight: A Midnight Clear by Hope Ramsay


About A Midnight Clear

Dr. Tom Crawford isn’t feeling the spirit of the season when he arrives in Last Chance. Far from friends and family, he’s the odd man out in this town of gossiping, tight-knit Southerners-until he meets a sweetly sexy single mom who makes him feel welcome. Suddenly the handsome doctor is thinking he’s finally found a place to call home.

Local florist Teri Summers has her hands full of mistletoe in preparation for the holiday, yet finding someone to kiss is her last priority. But when the gorgeous new doctor makes a connection with her special needs son, Aiden, Teri finds herself wondering if she’s finally found happiness in this season of joy. For Teri and Tom, Last Chance may be their best chance at love.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Sky4k2

B&N: http://bit.ly/1jjPAsl

iTunes: http://apple.co/1LzUA2O

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1MCYcoG

About Hope Ramsay

Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar. 





“She turned to look over her shoulder. “Doctor Crawford, are you asking me out on a date?”

He couldn’t tell if she was shocked or surprised, so he gave her a nonchalant shrug. Maybe he could fool her into thinking he wouldn’t be disappointed if she declined. “I am. I was wondering if you would introduce me to the barbecue in this town. I’ve heard it’s excellent.”

“It is excellent. Much better than anything you’ve got in Boston.” She turned all the way around to face him. “But I’m afraid I’m busy tonight.”

“Oh, all right. Some other time then.” He backpedaled, and his prosthesis almost tripped him up. He stifled the urge to massage his knee. He was just proud enough not to want Teri to know about his missing leg.

He’d lost it as a result of bone cancer at the age of seven. His “peg leg” as Jimmy liked to call it, had been with him for a long, long time, and he was mostly steady on his feet. In truth, his scars from that time were far less visible.

He took another step back, steadier on his one foot. Luckily, Teri hadn’t noticed his awkwardness. Good.

“I’m putting up my own Christmas tree tonight,” Teri said in a rush, as if she was trying to explain her rejection. “Well, anyway, I’m going to try. But you know Aiden might not like it, so I was just going to, you know, put up something small and maybe put some angels on it or something. So I . . .” Her voice trailed off. Her face got redder.

“I see,” he said.

“Uh, well, Aiden and I are going to be on our own this Christmas, you know. And I need to put up a tree. I haven’t done that in a long, long time. I’m not sure how Aiden will react.”

“Want some help?”

She stood silent for the longest moment, either trying to compose herself or weighing the pros and cons. “You’d do that?” she finally asked.

He opted to play this scene straight. No need to give her a speech about his past. The less said about that the better. “I’m pretty good at putting up Christmas trees. Although”—he looked around at the mess—“I might not be up to your professional standards.”

Her mouth quirked as if she were trying to keep it from trembling. “My professional standards mean ”

Her mouth quirked as if she were trying to keep it from trembling
“My professional standards mean nothing. Aiden has definite likes and dislikes, and this year I thought I’d try to tailor Christmas to his standards, instead of forcing him to celebrate the holiday by everyone else’s.” She bit her lower lip.

“Sounds like a good plan to me.” Man, she had one kissable mouth. Too bad he hadn’t caught her under the mistletoe that she was clearly planning to hang before the day was out.

“Yeah,” she said with a little nod, “it does sound like a good plan, doesn’t it? I have no idea where this is going to lead though.”

Neither do I. “I’m adventurous.”

“I think that’s true. You came all the way from Boston to the middle of nowhere to do battle with Lillian Bray and the rest of the busybodies in this town. That takes courage.”

He was surprised. Ma had told him that joining the NHSC had been an act of supreme stupidity. “So, what time?” he asked.

“Uh, well, I guess about six.”

“Six it is, then.” He turned and made the quickest of getaways before she realized that he’d just sort of invited himself over.”

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20691. Critiques 4 U


Courtesy: Pixabay

Happy December, everyone! November is such a crazy month for me, and this one was no different: my son’s 6th birthday (and party), my father-in-law’s birthday, Thanksgiving celebrations both at home and at school, decorating the house for Christmas. So many happy and exciting things, but I always breathe a sign of relief when November winds down and I can relax for a bit. And then December starts…

So before things get crazy again, I’m giving myself an early Christmas present and firing up our monthly critique contest. If you’re working on a first page and would like some objective feedback, please leave a comment that includes: 

1) your email address. Some of you have expressed concern about making your email address public; if you’re sure that the email address associated with your WordPress account is correct, you don’t have to include it here. But if you do win and I’m unable to contact you through that email address, I’ll have to choose an alternate winner.

2) your story’s genre (no erotica, please)


Three commenters’ names will be randomly drawn and posted tomorrow. If you win, you can email me your first page and I’ll offer my feedback. Best of luck!

The post Critiques 4 U appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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20692. Holiday Activities!

Christmas cookiesHappy Holidays, everyone!Holiday Activities

Now that Turkey Day is over, it’s officially the holiday season–and we’re so excited! We’ve got lots of DIY gift ideas, giftwrapping fun, and other holiday activities.

Are you excited for the holiday season? What are you looking forward to the most? Share with us in the Comments!

– En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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20693. On the Spotlight: 'Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters' by Donna McDine

Donna McDine's latest children's picture book is a charming, fun tale about first day jitters. Be sure to check it out for the kids in your family who will be going to school soon!

Title: Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters
Genre: children’s
Author: Donna McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Purchase linkwww.donnamcdine.com and Guardian Angel Publishing and Amazon 

About the Book: The anxiety of finding one’s own place and friends in kindergarten without the comfort of having her fraternal twin sister nearby at first overwhelms Dee until she realizes even without her fraternal twin sister, Dee and her classmates for the most part are in the same boat.

About the Author: Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side laid dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. Her latest release Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters joins the four early reader children’s picture books, A Sandy Grave(January 2014), Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010) all with Guardian Angel Publishing. Join McDine as her adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI.

Connect with Donna on the Web!

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20694. Overlooked books

       A worthwhile variation on the best-books-of-the-year lists that continue to flood the internet (with a month still to go in the year, sigh ...) is Slate's The Overlooked Books of 2015, where: 'Slate Book Review critics recommend 27 books you'd probably love if only you knew about them'.
       I've only reviewed two of these: The Librarian, by Mikhail Elizarov (recommended by Jeff VanderMeer), and He Who Kills the Dragon, by Leif G.W. Persson (recommended by June Thomas) -- and while I can't quite agree with the latter choice I'll go along with it because Thomas is right about Persson's overlooked threesome (not of 2015 ...) that begins with Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End:

His trilogy about the unsolved 1986 murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme and other politically motivated crimes in recent Swedish history are the best books I've read all year: creepy, conspiratorial, and insanely compelling.

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20695. Coloring Page Tuesday - Scottish Cow

     And we're off - officially into the holiday season. But, moooo for the Holiday Season? One of my happy discoveries here in Scotland is Highland Cattle. I'm sure you've heard of Nessie, the Lochness Monster. Yes, she's everywhere here. But so is the Highland Cow. You can buy hats, sweaters, even ear muffs in the shape of the Highland Cow. So, it seems appropriate to celebrate the Highland Cow for Christmas! MOOO!
     CLICK HERE for more Christmas-themed coloring pages!
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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20696. Top Ten Tuesday (15): Top Ten 2016 Debuts I Am Looking Forward To

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is “Top Ten 2016 Debuts I am Looking Forward To” and we’re happy to be participating! I am particularly happy to be doing this one because I just got back from this year’s NCTE in Minneapolis (were any of you there?) and heard about a bunch of debuts I’m really excited about. (I even grabbed a few!)   Burning Glass – Kathryn Purdie: “Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.” She has to spy out assassins! I love it. Anything with young women who... Read more »

The post Top Ten Tuesday (15): Top Ten 2016 Debuts I Am Looking Forward To appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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20697. Wartime bedfellows: Jack London and Mills & Boon

What do America’s most famous novelist and the world’s largest purveyor of paperback romances have in common? More than you would think. Jack London (1876-1916), author of The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and other classics, was published in the UK and overseas by Mills & Boon, beginning in 1912.

The post Wartime bedfellows: Jack London and Mills & Boon appeared first on OUPblog.

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20698. National Cookie Day: Who Would Win

Christmas cookiesTake a Bite Out of National Cookie Day!

Kicking off the holidays on December 4th, it’s National Cookie Day! Last year, you guys posted awesome ideas for the dream cookie you would make if you had to Invent the Most Amazing Cookie Ever.

This year, we’re heating up the oven for a battle of the cookies. Who do you think would win if these cookies went head to head?

1. Chocolate chip vs. Oatmeal raisin
2. Sugar cookie with mint sauce and chocolate (posted by Hannah) vs. Fruitcake cookie?
3. Chocolate fudge vs. Peanut butter fudge?
4. Chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal, mocha cookie (posted by Zakuro) vs. Peanut butter and jelly cookie?
5. Fortune cookie vs. M&M brownie bar
6. Icing sprinkle layer cookie (posted by Elizabeth) vs. S’mores cookie
7. Oreo vs. Chips Ahoy?
8. Iced Christmas cookies vs. Cookie ice cream sandwich?

Let us know your winners, and any other favorite cookies, in the Comments below!
Bon appetite!

-Ratha, STACKS Writer

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20699. ‘Performance Capture: Part 2’ by Mike Pelletier

Transmission of information.

The post ‘Performance Capture: Part 2’ by Mike Pelletier appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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20700. Spooky Action at a Distance review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of George Musser's Spooky Action at a Distance.
       This title is noteworthy for its subtitle, too -- one of the longest in recent memory --The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time -- and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything -- and yet still managing to leave out the key term, the phenomenon in question (nonlocality).

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