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From Harvard University Press
For seven years, Paul Lockhart’s A Mathematician’s Lament enjoyed a samizdat-style popularity in the mathematics underground, before demand prompted its 2009 publication to even wider applause and debate. An impassioned critique of K–12 mathematics education, it outlined how we shortchange students by introducing them to math the wrong way. Here Lockhart offers the positive side of the math education story by showing us how math should be done. Measurement offers a permanent solution to math phobia by introducing us to mathematics as an artful way of thinking and living.
In conversational prose that conveys his passion for the subject, Lockhart makes mathematics accessible without oversimplifying. He makes no more attempt to hide the challenge of mathematics than he does to shield us from its beautiful intensity. Favoring plain English and pictures over jargon and formulas, he succeeds in making complex ideas about the mathematics of shape and motion intuitive and graspable. His elegant discussion of mathematical reasoning and themes in classical geometry offers proof of his conviction that mathematics illuminates art as much as science. -- Read More
From Harvard University Press
Between 1961 and 1967 the United States Air Force buried 1,000 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles in pastures across the Great Plains. The Missile Next Door tells the story of how rural Americans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by living with nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that story tells us about enduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending.
By scattering the missiles in out-of-the-way places, the Defense Department kept the chilling calculus of Cold War nuclear strategy out of view. This subterfuge was necessary, Gretchen Heefner argues, in order for Americans to accept a costly nuclear buildup and the resulting threat of Armageddon. As for the ranchers, farmers, and other civilians in the Plains states who were first seduced by the economics of war and then forced to live in the Soviet crosshairs, their sense of citizenship was forever changed. Some were stirred to dissent. Others consented but found their proud Plains individualism giving way to a growing dependence on the military-industrial complex. Even today, some communities express reluctance to let the Minutemen go, though the Air Force no longer wants them buried in the heartland.
Complicating a red state/blue state reading of American politics, Heefner’s account helps to explain the deep distrust of government found in many western regions, and also an addiction to defense spending which, for many local economies, seems inescapable.
A friend of mine is an artist and designer who created a children's book character, "Coach Gator the Motivator," to teach children good habits. A coloring book is already available for sale, but he is looking for financial assistance in getting other projects for this character off the ground. This is a guy who loves kids and is an excellent artist, so please consider donating to this campaign.
Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open.
Libraries might not be able to duplicate what Eggers has done but I think there are seeds of ideas that could be used from what Eggers has done.
The issue is 24 pages long. A single-column 6x9" version, designed for online reading (and optimized for online display rather than printing), 46 pages long, is at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i9on.pdf (It's a much smaller file than the two-column version, if that's an issue.)
The issue contains the following essays, available as HTML separates through the links below (if you're viewing a web page) or from http://citesandinsights.info:
Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-2013) pp. 1-4
Information on my new book, designed to be a tool for public libraries aiming to improve or retain funding, including its availability as an $11.99 PDF, $21.95 paperback or $31.50 hardcover. While it's a tool, it's also an interesting set of detailed tables on the activities of public libraries--if you're numerate, since the tables deliberately lack textual commentary.
Lovers of Proust, get out your headphones: Naxos AudioBooks, a British division of the classical music label, has recorded all seven volumes of “Remembrance of Things Past” on CD — 120 discs, which will take 153 hours to get through. The last one comes out on Oct. 29.
Nicolas Soames, the publisher, said in an interview that the new version replaces an earlier, abridged edition — just 36 CDs — that the company recorded between 1996 and 2000. He believes the 120-disc edition (also available for download), which will cost £380 (about $600), to be the longest audiobook in existence.
Interesting piece at Teleread
Konrath and Crouch on Libraries
Leading up to the probable announcement next week of a new Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader, Amazon is teasing us with some never before released information about their products and services. The company, who says their Kindle Fire tablet is sold out, claims their small tab is responsible for 22% of U.S. tablet sales. This translates to an estimated 6.1 million devices flying off of the shelves since it's debut last November. Amazon has also released some information on their Amazon Prime service, including the top four items ordered with Prime, the most watched movie and TV show in the Prime Instant Video Catalog, and the number of books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
"The Story" on APM had this piece:
Ken Perenyi paints like Rembrandt - and Modigliani and Picasso. He can forge a brush stroke better than most, and for a time he actually sold his works as originals in the big auction houses. He had a close call with the F.B.I., and now he makes pieces that are labeled as copies. He calls himself a "master forger," and he tells his story in his book Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger.
After the forgery piece there is a segment called Noun Project. Here is the description. If you get the MP3 this is part of it so you can decide if you also want to listen to this part.
Description of "Noun Project"
Edward Boatman started designing symbols to use in his presentations at work, and soon his library grew to hundreds of icons. Now, people around the world are sending him symbols – for the brain, a key or a prayer – to include in the library he has called the Noun Project.
We are nearing the election and some news stories and books may be appearing that are relevant for LISNEWS posts. I wanted to give some background on my thought process in regards to political posts.
I have zero interest in endorsing any candidate in this forum.
My posting a story that has a political topic, theme is not an endorsement of the specific article. If I am not endorsing the article why I am posting it would be a valid question. My answer would be that there are many articles and books that are good to be aware of whether you agree with their content or not. I would expect this to be a view held by many librarians but I have been surprised how often this is not the case. Too many times I have received a response to an article that assumes my motive in posting a story is me saying - "You must believe what is in this article" as compared to what I was trying to do was make people aware of an article.
If you think an article does not belong on the site say so. If you think an article makes a good point consider leaving a comment mentioning what that is. If an article makes a bad point consider commenting on that. More discussion is better than less discussion. -- Read More
The more users a social network site like Facebook attracts, the more others will want to use it. But a site’s audience can decline just as quickly as it grows.
Perhaps the revolution has reached an evolutionary stage
Excerpt: The dizzying pace at which US consumers were switching from print to digital couldn’t last forever. Based on the numbers being published by the AAP, with a huge assist in interpretation by Michael Cader at Publishers Lunch, it seems that the slowdown has become very noticeable in the past 12 months.
Between late 2007 when the Kindle came out and late 2011, ebook sales doubled or more every year. Since September 2011, during which Cader reckoned sales were double the year before, the monthly numbers are showing much lower (and declining) year-on-year growth. The April numbers showed only a 37% increase from the year before.
I’ve been pondering this question about when ebooks uptake would slow down for a long time. In March of 2010, 17 months ago, I wrote that my hunch was that the switchover “won’t start slowing down until ebook sales are 20-25% of what a publisher expects on a new title.” And I guessed that would occur before the presidential election of 2012. That feels reasonably consistent with what appears to have happened.
Google Plans to Buy Frommer’s Travel Guides
The issue is 36 pages long. The single-column 6x9 version, designed for online reading, is 67 pages long.
A brief look at reported library closures in the FY2010 IMLS tables, updating previous Public Library Closure articles.
Catching up on a few interesting blogging-related items. (Part 2, next issue, focuses on libraries, liblogs and starting, stopping and pausing. Part 1 focuses on issues such as names, comments, science blogging, Brilliant Statements--or, if you prefer, Bewildering Stuff, gengen, technology and the philosophy of blogging, and the power of blogging. Note that this essay prints out as roughly 57 pages in HTML form; if you want it printed, save paper and download the whole issue. -- Read More
Like many coral specialists fifteen years ago, J. E. N. Veron thought Australia's Great Barrier Reef was impervious to climate change. "Owned by a prosperous country and accorded the protection it deserves, it would surely not go the way of the Amazon rain forest or the parklands of Africa, but would endure forever. That is what I thought once, but I think it no longer." This book is Veron's Silent Spring for the world's coral reefs.
Veron presents the geological history of the reef, the biology of coral reef ecosystems, and a primer on what we know about climate change. He concludes that the Great Barrier Reef and, indeed, most coral reefs will be dead from mass bleaching and irreversible acidification within the coming century unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed. If we don't have the political will to confront the plight of the world's reefs, he argues, current processes already in motion will become unstoppable, bringing on a mass extinction the world has not seen for 65 million years. -- Read More
Book received a Publisher's Weekly starred review.
From James McManus, author of the bestselling Positively Fifth Street, comes the definitive story of the game that, more than any other, reflects who we are and how we operate.
Cowboys Full is the story of poker, from its roots in China, the Middle East, and Europe to its ascent as a global—but especially an American—phenomenon. It describes how early Americans took a French parlor game and, with a few extra cards and an entrepreneurial spirit, turned it into a national craze by the time of the Civil War. From the kitchen-table games of ordinary citizens to its influence on generals and diplomats, poker has gone hand in hand with our national experience. Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama have deployed poker and its strategies to explain policy, to relax with friends, to negotiate treaties and crises, and as a political networking tool. The ways we all do battle and business are echoed by poker tactics: cheating and thwarting cheaters, leveraging uncertainty, bluffing and sussing out bluffers, managing risk and reward. -- Read More