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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Found Found Found

This is one of the main reasons why I blog: whenever I don't blog for more than 4 or 5 days I get at least one email that says something like "are you alright?" or "are you really so busy that you don't have a few minutes to blog?" Most times, these emails come from people I know well, but not always. Sometimes they come from people I've never met in the flesh. All I can say is thank you and here I am; I've just been very busy traveling and taking care of some things that have kept me away from my blog. Besides, if you know me you also know that I rarely, if ever, just blog for the sake of blogging.

Earlier this week I found myself very close to New Jersey's Atlantic City for a couple of days. In some ways, this made up for the messed up vacation in Miami from last month, even though I was not officially there on vacation, nor was I really anywhere that I wanted to be more than New York or Scarborough. As we walked around Atlantic City's commercial areas and the casinos on our way to the sea-front board-walk, my wife and I spoke about how incisive Jean Baudrillard's America really is. Here's an excerpt I like very much, translated from the French by Chris Turner:

"In reality, you do not, as I had hoped, get any distance on Europe here. You do not acquire a fresh angle on it. When you turn around, it has quite simply disappeared. The point is that there is really no need to adopt a critical stance on Europe from here. That is something you can do in Europe. And what is there to criticize that has not been criticized a thousand times before? What you have to do is enter the fiction of America, enter America as fiction. It is, indeed, on this fictive basis that it dominates the world. Even if every detail of America were insignificant, America is something that is beyond us all..."

And speaking of fiction, I'm very pleased to report that I have managed to find a book registered and released through The book is I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith who is best known for writing The Hundred and One Dalmations. This is not exactly my kind of book, not only because I normally read very little fiction, but also because it is intended for readers who are more romantic than I am. I found it in the waiting area for Gate B24 at JFK Airport in New York City on my way to London on Wednesday evening. I read quite a bit from it on the plane and now the book is back in the north of England. I plan to release it in Scarborough within the next couple of weeks or so. I'll make another note on the journal page for this book once I've released it. Integrated Mathematics: Course 1 by Isidore Dressler and Edward P. Keenan was also released by the same person at the same time, but I left that where I found it.

I continue to be utterly fascinated by - not so much for the books themselves (just yet) as much as for the idea behind this amazing community of people sharing things in a very legal way. As I've already said on my blog, I am interested in looking at parallels between BookCrossing and P2P file-sharing. Serious analysis has to wait until I sort out my long "to do" list over the next month or so. Don't think that I'm procrastinating on this. I'm not. I'm just getting ready for the beginning of a new academic year and I'm also working on a couple of extra-curricular projects too right now.

I am interested in the management of rights over digital media on different levels. I will be blogging more about that in the coming months because it continues to raise its head at the heart of one of research interests. This morning's 'What's Online' column, published in the New York Times, carries a review by Dan Mitchell for a new book by journalist J.D. Lasica called Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation. This new book is on my "to read/to buy" list. So I guess I won't get to the end of I Capture The Castle before I release it back into the wild.

In the final paragraph of today's 'What's Online' column, Dan Mitchell mentions a must-see website for people who think they consume dangerous amounts of caffeine, as I do. Do you honestly still believe that caffeine is found only in coffee? Check out Death by Caffeine Calculator. The big question this website answers is: "Ever wondered how much of your favorite caffeinated drink it would take to actually kill you?" It's a lot less than you may think. Scary stuff, but I don't believe I'm ready to make green tea my only caffeinated beverage just yet.

Blogger wwwitchie said...

I read I Capture the Castle after reading some interview with JK Rowling in a newspaper and she listed it as one of her favourite books as a child. I love children's literature and I devoured I Capture the Castle in a weekend. I also watched the film, with Romola Garai I believe... very enjoyable... oh and Bill Nighy as the father, quite an eye opener of a role! 

6:36 PM, August 20, 2005
Blogger MaltaGirl said...

Come on Toni, it's a lovely book - and if you want to take it seriously, you can consider the social implications with respect to networking and community-building of living in an isolated area, or something like that, lol.

I'm planning a release in the Plaza in Sliema some time in the next couple of weeks. I culled a dozen or so books from my library, mostly books that I bought on sale from Agenda, which, funnily enough, is where my copy of I Capture The Castle comes from. But I'm not going to release because I like it too much :-)

Have fun! 

8:50 PM, August 20, 2005

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