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1. There's Always One...


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2. Cate Blanchett & Christian Bale Sign on To Jungle Book Adaptation

Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale are the latest actors to sign on to star in Warner Bros.’ live action film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

The two actors will star alongside Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan in the Andy Serkis-directed film.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop: “Bale will voice Bagheera, a fearsome panther, both of whom save Mowgli from the killer tiger Shere Khan (Cumberbatch) and teach him the law of the jungle. Blanchett will voice Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli, while Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. Guardians Of The Galaxy & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review + Guardi...

Well, I was going to post another one of Comicgirl19s videos BUT as I was about to post it I saw that Subzero over at Tales From The Kryptonian was intending on doing so.

Anyhoo, expect a few expletives but a few interesting insights!

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4. Doctor Who and Clara (link)

I recently read in Stubby the Rocket's column on Tor.com that Doctor Who's companion, Clara, may be moving on at the end of the season.  I shan't miss her, but she wasn't used well--and she was so perfect in the Dalek episode where she was introduced! Clara Oswald may be moving on soon...

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5. The State of the University Press

intelligent-books-to-read

Recently, a spate of articles appeared surrounding the future of the university press. Many of these, of course, focused on the roles institutional library sales, e-books, and shifting concerns around tenure play in determining the strictures and limitations to be overcome as scholarly publishing moves forward in an increasingly digital age. Last week, Book Business published an profile on what goes on behind the scenes as discussions about these issues shape, abet, and occasionally undermine the relationships between the university press, its supporting institution, its constituents, and the consumers and scholars for whom it markets its books. Including commentary from directors at the University of North Carolina Press, the University of California Press, and Johns Hopkins University Press, the piece also included a conversation with our own director, Garrett Kiely:

From Dan Eldridge’s “The State of the University Presses” at Book Business:

Talk to University of Chicago Press director Garrett Kiely, who also sits on the board of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), and he’ll tell you that many of the presses that are struggling today — financially or otherwise — are dealing with the same sort of headaches being suffered by their colleagues in the commercial world. And yet there is one major difference: “The commercial imperative,” says Kiely, “has never been a requirement for many of these [university] presses.”

Historically, Kiely explains, an understanding has existed between university presses and their affiliated schools that the presses are publishing primarily to disseminate scholarly information. That’s a valuable service, you might say, that feeds the public good, regardless of profit. “But at the same time,” he adds, “as everything gets tight [regarding] the universities and the amount of money they spend on supporting their presses, those things get looked at very carefully.”

As a result, Kiely says, there’s an increasingly strong push today to align the interests of a press with its university. At the University of Chicago, for instance, both the institution and its press are well known for their strong sociology offerings. But because more and more library budgets today are going toward the scientific fields, a catalog filled with even the strongest of humanities titles isn’t necessarily the best thing for a press’ bottom line.

 The shift the digital, in particular, was a pivot point for much of Kiely’s discussion, which went on to consider some of the more successful—as well as awkward—endeavors embraced by the press as part of a publishing culture blatantly faced with the need to experiment via new modalities in order to meet the interlinked demands of expanding scholarship and changing technology. Today, the formerly comfortable terrain once tackled by academic publishing is ever-changing, and with an increasing rapidity, which as the article asserts, may leave “more questions than answers.” As Kiely put it:

“I think the speed with which new ideas can be tested, and either pursued or abandoned is very different than it was five years ago. . . . We’ve found you can very quickly go down the rabbit hole. And then you start wondering, ‘Is there a market for this? Is this really the way we should be going?’”

To read more from “The State of the University Press,” click here.

 

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6. Virals, by Kathy and Brendan Reichs | Series Review

In Virals, acclaimed mother and son writing duo Kathy and Brendan Reichs have created a captivating and enthralling series by incorporating science fiction and crime with a contemporary perspective, via 4 teens who are navigating an unusually adventurous adolescence.

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7. Brendan Reichs: Confessions of a Dynamic YA Author

Brendan Reichs, co-writer of the YA Fiction Virals series, shares with us some insights, favorites, and confessions of his dynamic author life.

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8. Studio Alexander

Studio Alexander on grainedit.com

I love this identity kit created for Carin Wilson by Auckland -based Studio Alexander.  The slick and well-polished system was recently announced as a finalist in this year’s Best Awards.

 

 

Studio Alexander on grainedit.com

Studio Alexander on grainedit.com

 

 

(via BP&O)

 

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9. Absolutely Almost (2014)

Absolutely Almost. Lisa Graff. 2014. Penguin. 304 pages [Source: Library]

I loved Absolutely Almost. I think I loved it at least as much as Umbrella Summer. Maybe even a little bit more. I don't know. Time will tell. I don't actually have to choose between the two, right?! I can LOVE two GREAT books by one very talented middle grade author, can't I?!

Albie is the protagonist of Absolutely Almost. His narration gives the book a just right feel. It's a satisfying read about a boy who struggles with meeting expectations: his parents, his grandparents, his teachers, his own. He's never good or great, he's always only almost. Almost good at this or that. Almost ready for this or that. And this oppressive almost gets him down now and then. Not always, mind you. I don't want to give the impression that Albie is sad and depressed and unable to cope with life. Albie is more than capable of having a good time, of enjoying life, of appreciating the world around him.

I really appreciated Graff's characterization. Not only do readers come to love (in some cases I imagine love, love, love) Albie, but, all the characters are well written or well developed. Albie's parents at times seem to be disconnected, out of touch with who their son is, what life is like for him, what he wants, what he needs. But just when I get ready to dismiss them as neglectful or clueless, something would happen that would make me pause and reconsider. Readers also get to know several other characters: his nanny, Calista, his math teacher, Mr. Clifton, and his friend, Betsy. For the record, he does have more than one friend. But Betsy is his new friend, his first friend that he makes at his new school. It is their friendship that is put to the test in the novel. It is his relationship with Betsy that allows for him to progress a bit emotionally. If that makes sense. (So yes, I know that his best-best friend is Erlan. But Erlan has been his friend for as long as he can remember, probably since they were toddlers. He's completely comfortable in that friendship. Their friendship does come into the novel here and there. But for me, it wasn't the most interesting aspect of the novel.)

I loved the setting of Absolutely Almost. I loved how we get to spend time with Albie in school and out of school. I loved how we get to see him in and out of his comfort zone. I loved that we got to see his home life. We got to see for ourselves how he interacts with parents. I love how Albie is able to love his parents even if they don't really make him top priority. Especially his Dad. Albie's need for his Dad's attention, the right kind of attention, can be FELT. Albie held onto hope that one day his Dad would find time to spend with him, that one day his Dad would see him--really see him. There were moments that hope lessened a bit as Albie gave into his emotions-of-the-moment. But Albie's love for his dad always won out at the end. His hope would return.

The writing. I loved it. I did. I think the quality of the writing was amazing. There were chapters that just got to me. Their were paragraphs that just resonated with me. The writing just felt TRUE.

Absolutely, Almost is set in New York City.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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10. Honoring Greg Djanikian in the pages of the Pennsylvania Gazette

I felt blessed when Pennsylvania Gazette editor John Prendergast invited me to write a 3,000 word story about Greg Djanikian, who trusted me to teach at Penn, who talks with  me many spring-semester Tuesdays when I arrive early to teach, who inspired a key character in my forthcoming Florence novel One Thing Stolen, and who writes some of the most gorgeous poetry anywhere. I wrote of his most recent book, Dear Gravity, here.

To write this story I spent an afternoon in Greg's beautiful home (filled with the artistry of his wife), interviewed Stephen Dunn, Julia Alvarez, Al Filreis, and others, and returned to a dear student, Eric Xu, who brought valuable insights to the Greg's beloved teaching.

The story can be found here.


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11. The Nonfiction Minute



Get on the ground floor of the next big thing in nonfiction! THE NONFICTION MINUTE is a website where teachers will find a new short nonfiction article written by one of dozens of award-winning nonfiction authors including Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (winner of the 2014 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award For Exemplary Advocation of Biodiversity Through the Authorship of Children's Science Literature), Jim Murphy, whose books have earned two Newbery honors, history writer/illustrator Cheryl Harness (and even me).

The NF Minute is the easy and accessible way teachers and students can incorporate nonfiction in the classroom. Passages are only 400 words long, and feature fun facts and true stories that can spark a discussion, illustrate a writing technique, or inspire a reluctant reader to investigate on his own.

If you like what you see, become part of the movement to bring quality NF to students everywhere. Visit the NF Minutes Indiegogo page and donate today.




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12. Over the River and Through the Woods

Doodles

Over the River and Through the Woods is the first page in a new sketch book. I need to get better at drawing directly into the computer and I want a non threatening page to sketch on once a day.

Rules: one page a day analogue or digital, only black and white, 15 minutes drawing and 15 minutes writing.

What if?

I am surprised and pleased at how much this looks like a child’s drawing. When examining the work of Paul Klee he seems to show no fear in his expression. His images are filled with “What if?” explorations. This is a place where “What if?” can exist.

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13. Persol Honors Frances McDormand at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival

Frances McDormand
(Venice, Italy) Frances McDormand has had a diverse and distinguished career so far, and it's about to reach new heights. Instead of complaining that Hollywood doesn't provide great roles for women -- especially older women -- she did something about it herself. McDormand optioned the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and is playing the title character in an HBO mini-series by the same name, which she also executive-produced, along with Tom Hanks, Gary Goeztman and Jane Anderson, who wrote the screenplay. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko,  Olive Kitteridge will air in on HBO starting this November. The official site is here.

I've always loved Frances McDormand's work, and admire her as an actress. When she was here during the Venice Film Festival in 2008 to promote Burn After Reading, she was witty, intelligent and funny. This year she will be honored with the Persol Tribute to Visionary Talent Award 2014 on September 1st, and then Olive Kitteridge will have its world premiere here in Venice.

Frances McDormand
Alberto Barbera, the Director of the Venice Film Festival said, “The originality and immensity of Frances McDormand’s talent is well reflected in Olive Kitteridge, a project which she herself initiated, optioning the novel by Elizabeth Strout, and of which she is also executive producer -- another great manifestation of her vision, which we honor today with this award. Thanks to her long-standing experience in theatre, film and TV, dedicated to the search for truth, the career of Frances McDormandis not only that of an extraordinary actress, but also reflects her consistent vision of art and of the world that is positive and aware, often in contrast with today’s prevailing value system”.





It always surprises my Hollywood friends to learn that the Venice Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded in 1932 by Count Giuseppe Volpi, the first festival brought celebrities flocking to Venice from all around the world. Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Norma Shearer, James Cagney, Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Vittorio De Sica and Boris Karloff were all on hand to add dazzle to the event.


The first film to be screened in 1932 was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian. Back then, the Venice Film Festival was not yet a competition, but it presented such films as It happened one night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor, Frankenstein by James Whale, Zemlja (Earth) by Aleksandr Dovzenko, Gli uomini che mascalzoni… (What Scoundrels Men Are!) by Mario Camerini and  A nous la liberté by René Clair. The audience selected what they liked best: Helen Hayes won favorite actress; Fredric March, favorite actor; best director was the Soviet Nikolaj Ekk for Putjovka v zizn, while the best film was René Clair's A nous la liberté.

By creating a new cinema division within La Biennale, Venice's international art festival, the Venice Film Festival helped to raise cinema to an art form. The official name of the festival is the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia or the "International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art of the Venice Biennale."



Nowadays the public can attend screenings for the 71st Venice International Film Festival by buying tickets with a click of the mouse. Visit La Biennale's website for the films that are screening, how to by tickets, and everything else you need to know by clicking here.

The 2014 71st Venice International Film Festival runs from August 27, 2014 to September 6, 2014. See you at the movies!

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog 

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14. London and LonCon

Well, here I am, back from London and Loncon, with much to tell.  I combined my third foray to Worldcon (and my first as a Hugo nominee) with a family vacation, both of which were delightful if a little tiring--a classic "I need a vacation after this vacation" situation.  The experiences of both convention and city are already swirling in my head, so I'd better get them down while it's still

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15. Peek

peek001

This is a peek of a picture book I am working on. It is in the story development phase. I am hopeful that the story is to a point that it is ready for submission. I just need to let it simmer for a few days.

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16. sfilzen: Jukebox last updated in 1980 (at Delta Lodge...



sfilzen:

Jukebox last updated in 1980 (at Delta Lodge Wisconsin)



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17. Photo













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18. Why Literature Can Save Us

Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is literature and what constitutes salvation? So I'll begin with a brief surface definition of the terms, since we probably all have our own and various ideas about what [...]

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19. smarter than a super genius

Question: Okay, so I am writing a story where my main character is a holmesian-style detective, who often relies on his cunning wit and superior intelligence

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20. My friend Flurry saw this while he was out and about in San...



My friend Flurry saw this while he was out and about in San Francisco today. He wrote, “Title page of novel? Contents of package? Taped to teacher’s back?”

I really hope it’s the first. “Now I’d like to read a short section from my novel entitled … ,” etc.



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21. British Justice Ministers Defend Prison Book Ban

British justice ministers have defended their push to prevent prisoners in England and Wales from having family and friends send them books.

They argue that prisoners can earn the right to buy books through the prison’s book selling program through a new ”incentives and earned privileges” regime.

The Guardian has more: “Justice ministry officials say lifting the ban on sending in books would undermine the basis of the new regime. The prisons minister, Jeremy Wright, said: ‘The notion that we are banning books in prisons is complete nonsense. All prisoners can have up to 12 books in their cells at any one time, and all prisoners have access to the prison library. ‘Under the incentives and earned privileges scheme, if prisoners engage with their rehabilitation and comply with the regime, they can have greater access to funds to buy items, including books.’”

Writers have called the move barbaric, stressing the importance of reading as part of a prisoner’s rehabilitation.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Poetry Friday - A review of On the Wing

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird speci

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23. NY Artist Carves Books Into Beautiful Sculptures

New York-based artist Brian Dettmer uses old books to create beautiful sculptures. Dettmer uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve up the pages of a book. He does not add or move around content from the book, he only removes items to create new meanings with the page.

Here is more about the book from his artist’s statement: “The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge.”

Dettmer is not alone is using books as a medium for art. Julia Strand and Mike Stillkey also work with old books in their creations.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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24. Sponsor // IKEA Launches Hypnotizing Time Travel Experiment

IKEA time travel

 

It’s no ordinary illusion. Together with hypnotist Justin Tranz, IKEA let young couples experience their future in a fascinating time travel experiment.

In the experiment, world-renowned hypnotist Justin Tranz put a young couple in deep trance before they’re being exposed with potential life-changing events in advance. Guided by Tranz, the young couple embarks on a time journey where different life predictions awaits them – from celebrating a birthday for their imaginary 6-year old daughter, to an odd meeting in the bathroom with the same daughters future boyfriend, years later.

 

“The everyday is exciting! It’s on those seemingly ordinary days life happens and changes. And when it does, so does our home”, says Johan Wickmark, Global Catalogue Manager.

Justin Tranz has done well over 6,000 stage shows and is the only hypnotist in history to ever legitimately perform on Broadway. He has helped thousands in their bid to stop smoking, lose weight or attain other personal goals. He has also worked with medical professionals, corporate executives, and athletes in all sports and levels of competition.

With the Time Travel Experiment, IKEA collaborated with Tranz to put the spotlight on events that change how we live and our everyday lives. And in this film becoming parents is portrayed, which is one of the biggest transitions of them all.

“In the new IKEA catalogue you can find solutions for every episode in life”, says Johan Wickmark, Global Catalogue Manager.

 

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25. "I’m not used to seeing people’s faces," he said. "There’s too much information there. Aren’t you..."

“"I’m not used to seeing people’s faces," he said. "There’s too much information there. Aren’t you aware of it? Too much, too fast."

-

The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit

Wow. This is an incredible story of a man who lived in the woods of Maine for nearly three decades, surviving almost entirely on things he stole from summer homes. He was finally caught, and reporter Micheal Finkel struck up a sort of friendship with him, visiting him in prison and learning about the years he spent silent and alone. 

(via chels)


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