How Amazon Has Changed How We Read


“The story of contemporary publishing is largely that of what Amazon has done to it and of what it threatens – in publishers’ and booksellers’ nightmares – to do. It is the story of a huge contrast between the perceptions of readers, authors and Wall Street, and those of publishers and booksellers.”

More Than 50,000 Books and Manuscripts Lost in Library Arson in Lebanon


“Lebanese officials and religious figures mobilized Saturday to prevent a renewal of tensions in the northern city of Tripoli after unknown assailants torched a historic library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest” – allegedly because there was one pamphlet deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad hidden in one of the books.

Charlie Chaplin’s Talking Pictures


“Though most [silent film stars] made talking pictures, few made any to compare with their silent marvels; only those of Charlie Chaplin rival – and even surpass – his silent work.” Why did Chaplin succeed where his contemporaries faltered?

Oscar Documentary Short List Looks To Political Films

Pussy Riot

“They include excoriating cinematic treatments of Indonesian death squads, evangelical homophobia in Uganda, the uprising in Tahrir Square and an attack on the incarceration of orca whales in marine parks” – and an already-banned-in-Moscow doco about Pussy Riot.

USA! USA! Er, At Least With (Ice) Dancing


“Olympic ice dancing also now carries the reality-television, celebrity-culture appeal of shows like ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ programs that have turned the salsa, tango and fox trot into somewhat quantifiable competitions.”