Brush off the Dust Best of the Web, 9/26-9/30/11

Ready for some great reading, video, even an online game?  Good check out this week’s Best of the Web.  There is a pretty heavy book theme this week, so enjoy that!

1. Historic fountains rot away in a local national park


Give us back our fountain

In the end, these two posts became a joint-operation.  The first is from the DC blog GREATER Greater Washington and the second from the Blog of the Courtier, who writes in Georgetown–once its own independent city of the District of Columbia, and now just the oldest neighborhood in the district.  There is some detective work here and plea to do better!  This is a nifty story about an old part of the country–also a great candidate for my new favorite site (which I apparently cannot shut up about!), Historypin, if some original pictures could be found.  Click on the titles above to read the original posts.

2. Drama of Game 162 never seen before and likely never will again

I’ve been hearing how this week was a) evidence that baseball is the best game on earth (I’ll let that go) and b) the last night in the baseball season this year was the best/most astonishing/meaningful in baseball’s LOOONG history.  This read is from Sport Illustrated’s Tom Verducci–a great sports writer.  To read about sports history being made before our eyes, click on the title above.

3. Rare Books

Any book lovers?  Then you need to check out the Rare Books department of the online bookseller, AbeBooks.Com.  They have highlighted features in this section for specific types of rare books–such as embroidered covers–and often have short and quick articles about the style and history, followed by gads of beautiful pictures of books.  Of course, one can also purchase First Editions and rare works of book art, but even if you aren’t in the market there is a lot one can learn by browsing through what they have to offer.  To drool–er–I mean, view and read click on the title above.

4.  SFSignal Presents a Guide to NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy

If you aren’t into this branch of literature, then this may not interest you much–although the flow chart is set with some fine wit.  If you are interested, or dabble occasionally, then this is a fantastic and entertaining flow chart that is sure to provoke some debate but also inspire further reading… and isn’t that really what is most important!  To go with the science fiction and fantasy flow (chart), click on the title above!

5. Staying awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading


The Book Bench: Changing reading forever, again

Another twofer.  From Haprer’s Magazine and The New Yorker’s Book Bench.  The first is a piece by Ursula K. Le Guin in Harper’s from February 2008 questioning how important reading really is.  The second piece was published September 23 of this year:  Good news!  Reading is up!  Is that really important?  This is an interesting discussion and deserves some time and consideration as the world of books and technology is changing.  (Let me make a note that the assertion attributed to Ursula K. Le Guin, that books were never read for pleasure until the 19th century is completely false, but consider what she says about reading and power in this conversation.)  I choose not to evaluate these arguments, but hope people will take the time to think them over–and their implications for society.  To read the discussion, click on the titles above.

6.  When ideas have sex

7.  400 Years Old and Ageless

So, I confess to not being a huge fan of the translation, but appreciate the heritage and the art of the King James’s Bible. The exhibit is reviewed by the NY Times Arts section.

8.  Find The Future at NYPL (New York Public Library)

The New York Public Library has unleashed an interactive online game enlisting some if its treasured artifacts… and you!  It is really an exciting way to inspire creative writing.  Participating in it will make the Library a must-see in New York City.  See the trailer below:


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