Weekend Edition: 11-22

Random Observations

Where was I 45 years ago today? Sitting in a Catholic school second grade classroom.

Why aren’t I surprised? Although U.S. airlines claim to have rescinded or reduced their fuel surcharges because of the dramatic decline in gasoline prices, many of them simply “folded the amount of the surcharge into the airfare.”

Bookish Linkage

A UN organization has designated Iowa City the world’s third City of Literature. The other two are Edinburgh, Scotland, and Melbourne, Australia.

Google, Amazon, the U of Minnesota and two other entities have reached an agreement to digitize and return into print virtually every book the University of Minnesota Press has published since it began in 1925.

C. Max hopes the economy will bring back the paperbacks of yore. I hope he’s right.

As I’ve been known to grab whatever is handy to use as a bookmark, I find Forgotten Bookmarks quite engrossing.

I am not surprised: “Unhappy people watch significantly more television compared with happy people who are more socially active, vote more and read more.”

If you happen to have been out of touch, the National Book Awards were announced. You didn’t see anything here because I was traveling. That said Peter Matthiessen won the fiction award for Shadow Country and Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family won the nonfiction award.

Nonbookish Linkage

Monty Python turns the table on YouTubers (assuming that’s a word) and launches The Monty Python Channel on the site.

Billy v. Ed.

Fimoculous began its annual list of “best of” lists.

If you haven’t seen it already, here’s the NYT of July 4, 2009, that was being distributed on streets last week.

I’m of the age where I don’t understand the attraction of getting a tattoo but then to get it from a tattoo artist who can’t spell.

Yes, really dumb questions do exist and here’s a new way to answer them.

Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye.

Bill Hicks

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