… for five days. A short break. May or may not blog, so here are some links to keep you busy. If you miss me too much, follow my adventures on Twitter, I’ll try and tweet a little something each day. (I’ll miss you bigger!)


* First of all, if you read anything today, or bookmark anything on this list, make it this. In today’s Crikey an eyewitness risks his life to tell Tehran’s stories. How can this be happening in our world? Bullet cost! 😦 There’s great insight there, though, on how social media networks like Twitter are actually making a difference:

Twitter is the main way of communication in Iran now, by just sending messages of where the protest would be… So there has been a few Iranian software engineers out of Iran who developed this IP confusion tracker. Now it’s free for Iranian people in Iran, they can download it, put it on their computer, and now anytime they go online it will give them a new IP.

The government side tries to do everything that they can to track these people down, but people on the other side won’t sit and let them do that. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, they’ve been filtered out of the Iranian internet, but at the same time there are other websites that break that filter, and they are developing that website so that you go through that website and that website will link you to Yahoo or YouTube or other sites that you want to go in.

To some good news…

* I’m very excited to be launching Josephine Rowe’s gorgeous, slender book of short-short stories, How a Moth Becomes a Boat, at Willow Bar in Northcote on Thursday 16 July at 7pm. See here. She will also be launching it at the Dig Cafe in Newstead on July 19, where the recent Newstead Short Story Tattoo was. It’s worth the day trip, details here.

* extempore is art and writing inspired by jazz music – sexy.

* Lists are fun! The Guardian proposes 1000 novels everyone must read. Prepare to feel stressed and inadequate.

* There are some fantastic author videos on ABC FORA.

* An argument against specific readings of texts, by Mark Edmundson in the Australian, via Damon Young, who has some great things to say himself about devoting ‘patient and sensitive attention to the sensory qualities a work has to offer’ (p. 179 in Distraction, which I’m halfway through). I also liked Damon’s blog post on the virtues of comics.

* A moving blog post ‘Too much information’ by Carly-Jay Metcalfe (who I’ve been meaning to introduce you to for a while), about not only her experience of the Simon & Garfunkel concert, but about music, memory, history, relationships and everything in between.

* Some Michael links, if you’re interested (and none of the negative stuff). Deepak Chopra’s tribute, someone who was close to him – an interesting read. I enjoyed reading Tom Cho’s personal tribute, with his own memories and experience of MJ. Not to mention his emphasis on Michael being a person. How easily people forget. Michael’s ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, heartbreakingly regrets that she didn’t do more to help him. And fan or not, it’s really worth checking out some of these MJ home movies – they really let you see him as a person (and a humble, honest one).

* If you’re a genre writer, or aspiring genre writer, you will get a lot from Worldshaker author Richard Harland’s writing tips. A huge amount of work has gone into this site.

* The Virginia Prize is a worldwide competition for women with unpublished manuscripts, prize is a thousand pounds plus publication with Aurora Metro.

* Bookseller+Publisher July emag is now up on the website (right-hand corner). This month I got to sample upcoming travel books (so many places to go!) There’s a great review by my colleague Katie of MJ Hyland’s newie This is How, which is in my reading pile, plus plenty of other reviews. I read and adored kid’s graphic novel Pilot and Huxley by Dan McGuiness. Can’t wait for the next one!

* Geordie Williamson’s Is That a Canon in Your Pocket? in today’s ALR is one of the best articles I’ve read on ebooks, and ereading. Geordie trials the iPod Touch, and writes a rich and thoughtful essay on so many of the issues surrounding ereading – history, aesthetics, tangibility and so on. I related to the ‘hand twitch[ing] for something to write with’, due to the inability to record marginalia with the iPod (though you can on some other readers); and the mention of David Chalmer’s ‘extended mind thesis’ (which reminds me a little of Dumbledore’s penseive). I must read more on this concept. Is anyone using an ereader yet? Or an application for ereading on their phone? Would love to hear your thoughts. Ereader companies, feel free to shimmy one my way…

* Do you have kidlets? Well, Tristan Bancks has a trailer up for his new series Nit Boy, illustrated by the very busy and talented Heath McKenzie. Looks like fun!

Adieu x

2 thoughts on “Escaping

  1. I’d previously encountered David Chalmer’s thesis via here:
    It led to a very interesting conversation at post-working-week-drinks, of which I believe the consensus was: a) wow, the brain is all kinds of awesome and b) I do feel a bit sorry for those monkeys, though (refer: Miguel Nicolelis’ experiments).

    I think the concept that progressive technologies are in many ways a natural form of evolution for humans is fascinating, and possibly reassuring for those that with technophobe tendencies.

    (Not entirely related, but a fascinating article/experiment on the iPhone & GPS ramifications is here, if you ever have the time to read it: )

    Back onto topic – ereaders…
    I have the Stanza application on my iPhone, which I got mostly for the novelty factor. Compactability, transportability, free ebooks and the ability to go “look! It’s a book! On my phone!” are all very appealing aspects.

    Having said that, I rarely use it, for three reasons:
    1) I’m re-reading Lord of the Rings at the moment, and am therefore excluding all other reading distractions where possible. (Which is, of course, in no way a reflection on the iPhone, or Stanza).
    2) I stare at a computer screen all day. I don’t find it as relaxing to stare at a screen to read as well (even if it does come with night theme colours for easier viewing).
    3) I enjoy the tangibility of books.

    I find it hard to switch off the well-installed aspect of my brain that reading=book.

    Stanza is a perk for picking up some free texts that I wouldn’t otherwise read, and handy to have in unanticipated instances of waiting (when I don’t have a book about me). But I can’t see myself buying any ebooks for it (well, except perhaps Lord of the Rings, for sheer convenience of reference when I have the sudden needs to find “that” quote), or using it as my primary reading tool.
    I get too much enjoyment from the feel and smell of a book. And this may sound silly, but it does seem more *real* to me. I’ve had too many computers die on me to be able to trust that an ebook won’t just disappear on me one day, without any provocation.

    The marginalia aspect doesn’t bother me either way. Unless I’ve purchased a book for the sole destiny of being a text of study, I can’t bring myself to mark it, with pencil or otherwise! (Such veneration is probably a ramification of having always borrowed a lot of books.)

  2. Oh, and despite having made such a lengthy comment… I forgot to include this link:
    I found it a very entertaining and easy-read article on the topic of ereaders. She writes better than I of the enjoyment of reading the physical book. And certainly the “holiday reading” presents an interesting case – for this is where ereaders shine in their convenience, but the concept of lying on the beach with your ereader seems crass.

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