Some great online reading for readers of this blog and more…

Call it writer’s block or writer’s fatigue, but I find it hard to motivate myself to write blog post.  Conveniently, others are not nearly so hampered as I am and I found some great stuff to read online–some of it I wish I had researched and wrote!   There is a little something for everyone, I think.  So, here goes!

Celebrating Linotype, 125 Years Since its Debut, The Atlantic, John Hendel

“Celebrating Linotype…” is a snazzy article about the history of a revolutionary machine, “Thomas Edison, it’s said, called the [Linotype machine] the Eighth Wonder of the World (no faint praise from the man who invented the light bulb).”  The Linotype is so-called because it was capable of printing a line of type.  It was no longer necessary for printers to place each individual letter or space into its place.  Included in the article is a really fine slide show, even with the unfortunate insertion of ads.  There is also a sweet little 2 and a half minute documentary.  Actually, I wish I had written and researched this, but my life isn’t that fun, right now.

How Overdue Books caused the Civil War, American Libraries, Robert Lopresti

“How Overdue Books…” is one of those reads that inspires incredulous amusement when read as history, but must have absolutely incensed contemporaries when the misdeed took place.  The title is clearly for the delight of librarians, indeed the article opens,

I admit that the title is a bit of an exaggeration. For one thing, most of the books were not actually overdue. Also, some people claim there were other causes for the Civil War: slavery, states’ rights, and stuff like that.

It is a pretty entertaining story recounting the attempt of several southern congressmen to attempt to loot the Library of Congress in order to found a competing library for the Confederacy.

Your Loebs!, Harvard University Press Blog

“Your Loebs!” doesn’t really have a whole lot of reading, but I love and heart Loeb Classics!  This is really an homage to the little bilingual editions of classical literature and to peoples’ love for them.  Greek-language editions are in green, Latin in red–visually, quite lovely!

Girl child no burden in this Bihar Village, Prabhakar Kumar, CNN-IBN

“Girl child…” is a great article to read when so much of the news about baby girls, and women in general, is depressing.  In this instance, the village plants 10 trees for every girl that is born.  Now, that’s a nice way to commemorate a girl’s birth!  (Take a lesson, China!)

The Charms of Eleanor, The New York Review of Books, Russell Baker

“The Charms…” while actually a review of a couple of Eleanor Roosevelt biographies this is a pretty good read in and of itself.  The subject matter considers the relationship of Eleanor and Franklin, concluding that, “Whatever its roots, it turned out to be an extraordinary marriage once it was purged of sex.”  It’s steamy in a soap opera sort of way, so if you miss those this is great!  Love’em or hate’em they are remarkably interesting (in article-length, anyway).

Graffiti’s Cozier, Feminine Side, The New York Times, Malia Wollan

“Graffiti’s…” adds a little whimsy, here!  The new(ish) artsy vandalism, which can be removed sans scrub pads, is “yarn bombing” and it can make quite a statement when it is, say, knitted over The Wall Street Bull in NYC.  The article is augmented by some video and a slide show.  Many thoughtful, esoteric conversations have taken place in coffee shops with artists and Bohemian literature over the past couple years as “yarn bombing” has risen in underground acclaim.  So many meanings!  Where is Foucault?


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Filed under Brush off the Dust Best of the Web, Historian's Journal

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