The Articles

Adaptations, Alterations, Revisions

January 3, 2013 by News

A recent article in The New York Times by Melena Ryzik focuses on the revision processes of a few writers, all nominated for the best adapted screenplay. Most of the time and especially in Oscar season, reviewers and audiences tend to narrow in on the finished product. Occasionally, we are given glimpses of the film in production or pre-production, but mainstream media usually casts the spotlight on the completed work or its actors. Ryzik illuminates the realm without glamour that every artist is familiar with: revision. Ryzik adds some charming anecdotes along the way. Well worth a read.

Martinis, Bond and an Obsessive Grammarian

Two of my favorite obsessions; James Bond and the English language. Geoffrey Pullum tells us why it’s shaken, not stirred rather than shaken but not stirred.

My favorite quote of the piece: “To anyone who finds that linguistic study is a worthless finicking with trifles, I would reply that life consists of little things; the important matter is to see them largely.”

No. Really. New Years Eve Was Great.

At the stroke of midnight on New Years eve I was high atop a San Francisco rooftop drinking champaign and freezing my tits off. The next day my friends asked me if I enjoyed the fireworks display in the south-eastern sky.

Fireworks display?

Over my second cup of coffee and second round of Advil these same friends were kind enough to help me remember that I indeed had a good time the previous night. For those of you who, like me, may be a little fuzzy about your New Years Eve details – In Focus has a spectacular collection of photography of New Years Celebrations Around the World.

How Reading Novels Makes You an Elitist

January 1, 2013 by Opinion, Publishing

I just got back from a trip to Connecticut where I made a pilgrimage to the Mark Twain house. It was a semi religious experience for me to see the desk that Twain sat at to write three of his most famous novels.

Today I have come to read that being a fan of literature makes me an elitist in Tim O’Reilly’s eyes.

But I don’t really give a shit if literary novels go away. They’re an elitist pursuit. And they’re relatively recent. The most popular author in the 1850s in the US wasn’t Herman Melville writing Moby-Dick, you know, or Nathaniel Hawthorne writing The House of the Seven Gables. It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writing long narrative poems that were meant to be read aloud. So the novel as we know it today is only a 200-year-old construct. And now we’re getting new forms of entertainment, new forms of popular culture.

Much of contemporary entertainment can find its roots in novels. O’Reilly’s glib dismissal of the genre is extraordinarily vacuous. Sort of what you’d expect from a narrow minded elitist who hasn’t read a whole lot in his life.

Reads Just Like Paper

January 1, 2013 by Publishing

Nicholas Carr with a great piece on the demise of the e-reader.

Displacing the e-reader is, of course, the multipurpose tablet. As e-reader sales have fallen, tablet sales have exploded. About 140 million tablets will be sold this year, and the number is projected to approach 200 million in 2013.

He’s absolutely right. Which means Apple has impeccable timing with the release of the iPad mini.

Using Dropbox for my iPhone Photos

December 30, 2012 by Photography

I just had one of those rare experiences with technology in which everything worked flawlessly. I’m still in a mild shock.

Two weeks ago upon opening the Dropbox App on my iPhone there was a message that told me how to use Dropbox for the photos on my phone. I don’t need this, I thought to myself, my photos are syncing to Apple’s iCloud.

I turned on the feature anyway. After using for two weeks, I can only say that it is nothing short of awesome.

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