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Does reading actually change the brain?
"The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," says Gregory Berns. "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense. Now we're seeing that something may also be happening biologically."
A tough nut to crack to be sure, but Randall Munroe has taken a stab at it on his wonderfully quirky What If? site.
"The average person can read at 200-300 words per minute. If the average living writer, over their entire lifetime, falls somewhere between Isaac Asimov and Harper Lee, they might produce 0.05 words per minute over their entire lifetime. If you were to read for 16 hours a day at 300 words per minute, you could keep up with a world containing an average population of 100,000 living Harper Lees or 400 living Isaac Asimovs."
“There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil,” Bill Gates wrote this summer. That’s quite an endorsement—and it gave a jolt of fame to Smil, a professor emeritus of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba. In a world of specialized intellectuals, Smil is an ambitious and astonishing polymath who swings for fences. His nearly three dozen books have analyzed the world’s biggest challenges—the future of energy, food production, and manufacturing—with nuance and detail. They’re among the most data-heavy books you’ll find, with a remarkable way of framing basic facts. (Sample nugget: Humans will consume 17 percent of what the biosphere produces this year.)
From CNN.com: "The world's most valuable book sold Tuesday for $14.16 million at Sotheby's in New York, according to the auction house.
The rare Bay Psalm Book is the first book ever written and printed in what is now the United States. Its sale set a record for a book sold at auction, Sotheby's said."
This one has been a long time coming, but this morning, Judge Denny Chin (who actually has a long history of siding with copyright holders) found that Google's book scanning project is fair use. This is a huge victory in a variety of ways. TechDirt has the story.
Joe Starita talked about his book "I Am a Man": Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice. In 1879, Ponca Chief Standing Bear challenged decades of Indian policy when he stood in a federal courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska, and demanded to be recognized as a person by the U.S. government.?The eventual results were that all Native American peoples were given the full rights of American citizenship.?Topics included how the government was making decisions based upon faulty information and how to treat indigenous people and tribal-based societies.?Professor Starita was interviewed by Professor Arneson and responded to questions from members of the audience.
Watch video at BookTV