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Archive for February 24th, 2009

ghandi“Indians are expressing outrage over a New York auction that is set to sell some of the most personal belongings of India’s great independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi — the gaunt, bare-chested man whose ascetic life defied materialism.

“The auction is a travesty for many Indians, for whom Gandhi is a godlike figure, and some in India’s Parliament have called for the government to either stop the auction or put in the highest bid to get back the nation’s iconic mementos.

“The bidding for Gandhi’s distinctive metal-rimmed round spectacles, his leather sandals, a 1910 sterling Zenith pocket watch, and a brass bowl and plate is scheduled for March 5 and 6 in New York.” (via The Washington Post)

Antiquorum Auctioneers, in their press release for the March sale, estimate the value of the c. 1901-1915 pocket watch at $20,000-$30,000 and note that Ghandi “gave it to his grandniece, Abha Gandhi, his assistant of six years, and in whose arms he died.”

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As an early user and fan of Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader, I’ve wanted for the longest time to post something about the device, but never more than now, now that the Kindle 2 has been released and reviewed in various forums. Finally, Jon Stewart to the rescue.

From last night’s The Daily Show, here is Stewart’s discussion about the Kindle 2 with Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Laughter aside, Roy Blount Jr., president of the Authors Guild, argues that “authors have a right to a fair share of the value that audio adds to Kindle 2’s version of books.”

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From today’s New York Times, Allison Arieff on San Francisco bookseller, collector and architectural book publisher William Stout and the old-fashioned pleasures of hunting in the stacks:

“Stores like Stout’s (not to mention people like Stout!) are a rare breed these days: there are two floors bursting with over 200,000 books on everything from the sustainable houses of Australian architect Glenn Murcutt to Czech graphic designer Vitezslav Nezval’s ‘Alphabet’ from 1926 to the last sketchbook of Jackson Pollock to William Wegman’s whimsical ‘Dogs on Rocks.’ Some books are shelved in an orderly fashion, others are piled high, begging for the serendipity of accidental discovery. . . .

“I love the tangents an afternoon spent searching the Internet can generate: a search for this leads to a blog on that which might lead to a book I’d not heard of or a film I want to see. But I realize as well that it’s contributing to a sort of collective ADD that makes ambling through aisles of a place like Stout Books feel that much more special, requiring an altogether different commitment of time, care and attention.”

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googleUpdating my January 31st post, Google & the Future of Books: I received the following email today from Nancy Dolan at Kinsella Media, LLC, regarding the Google Book Search settlement –

“Thank you for your blog post about the Google Book Search settlement.  The process of notifying authors and publishers about the settlement has begun.  If you would like to update your readers with the court-approved Notice, which summarizes the settlement, important terms, claims process, and key dates, it is available at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com/notice.html.  Rightsholders may now claim their works at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com.”

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marijuana11“Could Cannabis sativa be a salvation for California’s fiscal misfortunes? Can the state get a better budget grip by taxing what some folks toke?

“[Assemblyman Tom Ammiano] from San Francisco announced legislation Monday to do just that: make California the first state in the nation to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.” (via LA Times)

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