Josh Mack blogging at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and occasionally on; bicycles, politics, Brooklyn, parenting, crafts, and good reading. Currently helping to build a new NYC neighborhood news site - nearsay.com, that celebrates the voices that make our city. Subscribe to the daily newsletter it gives you what you need to know.
Do you have a PSFC member in your life who has a sense of humor? Want to help fight hunger and bring some levity at the same time? These shirts and tote bag were inspired by a NY Times article about the PSFC that made me think of The Scarlet Letter. I am donating all of the profit from their sale to The Food Bank. Last year I was able to donate over $250 as a result. There come in many PSFC flavors; "On Alert", ""Grace Period", "Doing A Make Up" and are available for adults, toddlers, and tote-bag carriers. Get yours here.
Two weeks ago, Grewal took part in Wheat Ridge Cyclery’s Crooked Roubaix, his first competitive event since his retirement. Despite riding a mountain bike, flat pedals and hiking boots, Grewal finished the 90-mile gran fondo-style high-altitude event on dirt and paved roads in the leading group, crossing the line in fourth place out of a field of some 125 starters.
Reading in the NYT about Thomas Muster's planned comeback in tennis made me think of this story from a few weeks ago. The fact that Grewal was riding a mountain bike with flat pedals and wearing hiking boots is just wild.
We've progressed a great deal since those early days, and food and materials for survival are much easier to come by, but we all still harbor a little voice in our heads that wants us to hold on to stuff "because we might need it."
Always a good idea to revisit Apartment Therapy's cure and philosophy of decluttering. Our problem is that we fill an out box and then since we've forgotten where it is we start another leading to a clutter of out boxes which we need to declutter.
Recently the NY Times ran an article about lower sales of children's picture books as parents worried about their children's performance on tests pushed them to read chapter books at an earlier age. Naturally this has caused heated conversation in our household and also among our friends here in Park Slope, the breeder capital of New York City. Because we want Willa to be as prepared as possible we've decided to skip chapter books and have her start reading catalogs to better understand merchandising, product presentation, and outfit matching, so she can outperform her peers in what is sure to be stiff competition for sales associate and retail concierge service jobs. Recently she has been concentrating on learning the names and likes of the models in the Boden catalog, and we have friends whose slightly older child is reading the descriptions and watching product videos on the B&H site to get ahead with electronic retailing. But even this type of reading requires the same kind of dedication that young Laurence Gignac's mother showed when she said, “He would still read picture books now if we let him, because he doesn’t want to work to read," so when Willa starts making up tales about young Jana and Isadora we steer her right back to the item descriptions, material lists, and prices. By the way if anyone has any catalogs in Mandarin to spare think of us.
Instead, an internal memo said the print edition will rely more on individuals who are “experts in their individual fields as opposed to reporters who track down experts and put the expert’s story into the writer’s words.”
It looks like Amazon is extending its e-reading platform to include short works and digital pamphlets. Today, Amazon is launching Kindle Singles, which are Kindle books that are in the company’s words, “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book.” Generally, Amazon characterized Kindle Singles as 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages).
Chapbooks and pamphlets have a long and glorious history. For example, Thomas Paine's Common Sense which helped to convince the founders of our country to revolt, sold 500,000 copies in its first year. The promotion of chapbooks by Amazon is exciting. A few years ago I thought Seth Godin's ChangeThis.com was a great idea with its downloadable paid pdfs but this is even more exciting as it is a broader distribution platform and opens up a whole new category and revenue stream. It can be used to bring back serials (like the Neil Stephenson one I wrote about a week ago), short form biographies, and essays on things you need to know. The TED videos equivalent of a written lecture.
It is the kind of thing I want to publish and promote. I'm trying to convince some of my friends who write on popular but niche subjects to work with me on, I would help them package and promote them. Things that couldn't be books but that could bring them income by giving their fans information and letting them sell a thousand or more copies. I'm excited by this.
Lucky coolhunters. I love the Scottish Highlands and also the fine liquid that gets made there. I haven't had a drink since late June when I went on the IV antibiotics and as that is about to come to an end have already decided that it will be a draught of Laphroig. These pictures of Highland Cattle and the Macallan distillery are a nice warm up.
I'm not sure what I think of the term augmented reality but as readers know I do love things that let you add other views of things by peeling back or overlaying layers. This looks great. Now I either have to upgrade my iPhone or move to android. Anyone use this?