But if Darth Vader got his hands on the Elder Wand AND the Ring of Power….

You can always tell it’s March Madness time when everyone starts breaking out tournament brackets for everything imaginable. And we hopelessly nonathletic nerds will not be left out of the fun! So Half-Price Books is running an online “Tournament of Villains,” a bracket of evil that includes baddies from film, literature, and comic books, mostlyContinue reading “But if Darth Vader got his hands on the Elder Wand AND the Ring of Power….”

An animated history of the English language

A friend of mine shared this video on Facebook earlier today, and it’s just so fantastically succinct and hilarious I had to post it here. It’s “The History of English in Ten Minutes”: My friend found it on a blog post at Milk And Cookies, but it’s pretty widely available. What’s particularly genius about thisContinue reading “An animated history of the English language”

Daily Show: Borders Goes Out of Business

The Daily Show‘s correspondent John Hodgman suggests that to save bookstores from closing (as Borders has recently done, we might try altering the in-store “entertainment”: 1st collector for Daily Show: Borders Goes Out of Business Follow my videos on vodpod ‎”Instead of hosting ‘readings’, why not host exciting live ‘writings’? Bring the author in, tieContinue reading “Daily Show: Borders Goes Out of Business”

A word about the delays in posts lately

Hello, gang. Chances are, if you’re one of the dozen people who subscribe to this blog, you might have noticed that some of the posts these past few weeks have been pretty long delayed in turning up online or in your RSS reader. That’s not WordPress’s fault. See, I’ve been on the road, driving fromContinue reading “A word about the delays in posts lately”

The Current History of the Future of Publishing: Margaret Atwood speaks at the Tools of Change conference

This is a phenomenal presentation — from Margaret Atwood! — on the changes taking place in the publishing industry… and why we shouldn’t freak out about it. My favorite bit is her definition of “publishing,” because the rest of this presentation stems from that one seminal idea, and it’s awesome. The video of her presentationContinue reading “The Current History of the Future of Publishing: Margaret Atwood speaks at the Tools of Change conference”

A Writer’s Notebook: Spoken word video

A video is a strange thing to include in a Writer’s Notebook, at least in the sense that I couldn’t have written this in my little brown notebook with the unlined paper. But the purpose of the online Notebook is simply to create, and I’ll use whatever medium works. So bear with me, and I’llContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Spoken word video”

Bad Writing

Point me to the advance ticket sales, please! Dan Chaon posted this on his Facebook page, which is where I found it.  Sounds like a fantastic (and potentially depressing) jaunt into cold, blinding reality.  A bit like “the Bulwer-Lytton contest meets 90% of all graduate writing workshops.”  Which is exactly how I’d have pitched this.Continue reading “Bad Writing”

“Humanities in higher education is under attack.”

Pursuant to last Thursday’s post about Peter Thiel’s plan to destroy higher education, I offer this:  simultaneously the funniest and the most depressing commentary on academia I’ve seen in ages. Xtranormal | Text-to-Movie So you Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities , posted with vodpod This video might, in fact, look familiar, becauseContinue reading ““Humanities in higher education is under attack.””