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Friday, 22 September


Google and Facebook Tighten Grip on US Digital Ad Market Editor & Publisher

Its no longer news to say that Google and Facebook dominate the US digital ad market. But this year that supremacy is exceeding expectations, according to eMarketers latest digital ad spending forecast.

The digital ad ecosystems so-called duopoly is now expected to rake in a combined 63.1% of US digital ad investment in 2017, up from eMarketers previous prediction that the duos total would reach 60.4% in 2017.


Local Newsrooms in Philadelphia and Beyond Get $2 Million in Grant Funding From Lenfest Editor & Publisher

The Philadelphia Media Network, which includes The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, has received a grant for $1 million from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

Lenfest also announced an additional $1 million for a variety of local journalism projects, newsrooms and innovators, both in Philadelphia and beyond.


Sheryl Sandberg Called Facebooks Ad-Targeting Embarrassment Totally Inappropriate and a Fail on Our Part Editor & Publisher

The ad-targeting feature that allowed Facebook advertisers to target Jew haters and other offensive labels was totally inappropriate and a fail on our part, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Sandberg posted on Wednesday to express disappointment with the companys embarrassing targeting options and explain Facebooks plan to rectify the situation.

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Thursday, 21 September


Help! Infectious Boredom and Pee-Hoarding Roommates The Paris Review

Have a question for Lynda BarryEmail us.

A self-portrait by Lynda Barry.

Dear Lynda,

When you get bored, and youre so bored you dont even want to do anything to break up the boredomits that creeping, infectious boredom thats kind of like an angerhow do you avoid drinking too much?


Tipsy in Texas


Dear Tipsy,

Boredom has a hard time letting go of the remote control, so the secret is to get your body out of range so it cant reach you. The remote control that boredom holds is your phone. Leave it behind, and sneak calmly out the back way. Get a ride to a bar that is about ninety-minutes walk from your place then go in, (phoneless!) and order your favorite drink and pound it. Drink it really, really fast. Then have one more really, really fast. Tip your bartender and head out, thinking of a question that youd love to know the answer to, big or small. As you begin to walk home (possibly getting a little lost along the way as you are buzzed and phoneless) tell yourself that you will encounter three clues to the answer to this question in the next ninety minutes.

Tell yourself one will be in the form of a person, one will be in the form of trash or something laying on the ground, and one will be something located above eye level. When you get back home, sneak past boredom (it will be easy because boredom will be glued to your phone) and get a piece of paper and write down ten things that happened or that you did during your walk. Then look at your list and write down what you were looking at when those things were happening. Pick one of the things from either list and write about it in the first person present tense, like its happening right now. Start with your location, describe the setting and then write nonstop for eight minutes. Now write your question and spend three minutes writing the answer. In less than two hours youll have a big experience that boredom wont know anything about because its still on your phone, sucked into the vortex you managed to free yourself from for a little while. And boredom cant read your...


An Epitaph for Achilles Son The Lion of Chaeronea

Ausonius, Epitaphia heroum qui bello Troico interfuerunt 9 Pyrrho

Notes: the middle of the world: Orestes killed Pyrrhus/Neoptolemus at Delphi, where a stone known as the omphalosmarked what was thought to be the geographic center of the world.  the spoils of a king: Priam.

I am buried at the middle of the world-
I who showed greater valor
Than my father did, for I,
Pyrrhus, still a boy,
Won the spoils of a king.
Wicked Orestes slew me
Before the altars, by trickery-
But why be shocked? Already
He was mad from his mothers murder.

Orbe tegor medio, maior virtute paterna,
    quod puer et regis Pyrrhus opima tuli.
Impius ante aras quem fraude peremit Orestes-
    quid mirum? caesa iam genetrice furens.

Pyrrhus and Andromache before Hectors Tomb, Johan Ludwig Lund, between 1807 and 1811


Industry Insight: Want to Build Trust? Start with a Good Corrections Policy Editor & Publisher

The more corrections a news organization runs, the more likely I am to trust it.

In the still-insular culture of todays newsrooms, the number of corrections doesnt necessarily correlate to the number of mistakes made. But those that regularly run corrections, and in a manner thats prominent and transparent to readers, show a commitment to addressing mistakes and accountability.

If all you ever heard about the (New York Times) or AP or CNN or Fox were the corrections, youd think they were terrible, CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter wrote on Twitter recently. Theyre not.

His comments came in the wake of CNN retracting a story about a Trump supporters ties to Russia and announcing the departure of several staff members (veteran journalists) who were involved in writing and editing it.

Trump-supporting websites seized on the admission to paint mainstream media coverage in general as fake news that is biased and unfair to the president.

Elad Nehorai, a Brooklyn writer who has contributed to the Guardian and HuffPost and blogs at, took the opposite lesson.

The fact that they issue corrections is what makes them quality media! he wrote in response to Stelters point. Im looking forward to the day an extreme right site does the same.

Thats an obvious starting point for news organizations who want to combat the presidents attempts to undermine trust in the press with a fake news mantra, and those who hope or expect to rely on direct financial support from readers.

The first step in building community trust is to have an awesome corrections policy, and to follow it religiously. Craig Silverman, who used to publish the site Regret the Error and now leads Buzzfeeds coverage of the media, has been preaching this for years.

Silverman has been a leading voice about how to handle corrections as journalism has moved online and newsrooms have faced a whole set of new issues around the speed of coverage and the temptation to quietly make changes in an online story that was wrong without acknowledging that you made...


365 Challenge: Day 193 Touring This Is My Truth Now

Touring: wandering around checking out all the important stuff


Today started off with a quick drive through Chapel Hill and then we took off for Duke University in Durham. We wandered the campus and saw a bunch of beautiful old buildings and chapels. It was over 90 degrees in the sun, so I kept looking for shady areas. I also felt guilty because students were in classes and I got to spend the morning touring. After, we went to the gardens and had a golf cart drive us around for part of the way before we walked the rest on our own. So many great trees and flowers. Best part of the day!

We had lunch in the downtown area and shopped in old village stores. We later drove to Raleigh and checked out neighborhoods. A few cool ones and a few run down ones. Toured the state capitol building which was awesome. I think Charlotte is still the nicest of all the cities, but we have more to see tonight in Cary and downtown Raleigh. Off to meet a friends sister for dinner. A home cooked meal! No touring tonight but back at it tomorrow with Greensboro and Winston Salem. See ya soon. Enjoy the pics.



Lost Poem michaelwrites

I keep trying to remember the lines
I composed while I was meditating
trying not to think in words I forgot
on purpose then regret the lost poem


justspace: Relativistic jets powered by the supermassive... The Lion of Chaeronea


Relativistic jets powered by the supermassive blackhole Centaurus A



A Bizarre Company (Fry) New Online Books

A Bizarre Company (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., 1913), by G. M. C. Fry (page images at Princeton)

An Alphabet of Fairy Tales (Pailthorpe) New Online Books

An Alphabet of Fairy Tales (London: Gale and Polden, Ltd., 1920), by Doris Pailthorpe (page images at Princeton)

The Children of Many Nations and the ABC (Hodgman) New Online Books

The Children of Many Nations and the ABC (Rochester, NY: Stecher Lith. Co., 1916), by Carolyn S. Hodgman, illust. by William F. Stecher (page images at Princeton)

ABC Health Cards New Online Books

ABC Health Cards (New York: American Child Health Association, 1915) (page images at Princeton)

Edward Lear's ABC (Lear) New Online Books

Edward Lear's ABC (London: H. Frowde, Hodder and Stoughton, ca. 1913), by Edward Lear (page images at Princeton)

The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin (Turner) New Online Books

The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin: A Study of the Trading Post as an Institution (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1891), by Frederick Jackson Turner (Gutenberg text)

August Folly (Thirkell) New Online Books

August Folly (c1936), by Angela Thirkell (HTML in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

Miss Bunting (Thirkell) New Online Books

Miss Bunting (c1945), by Angela Thirkell (HTML in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

Kif (Daviot) New Online Books

Kif: An Unvarnished History (c1929), by Gordon Daviot (HTML in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

The Privateer (Daviot) New Online Books

The Privateer (c1952), by Gordon Daviot (HTML in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

Richard of Bordeaux (Daviot) New Online Books

Richard of Bordeaux: A Play in Two Acts (c1933), by Gordon Daviot (HTML in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

The Man In The Queue (Tey) New Online Books

The Man In The Queue (c1929), by Josephine Tey (HTML in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

Leith Sands, and Other Short Plays (Daviot) New Online Books

Leith Sands, and Other Short Plays (c1946), by Gordon Daviot (multiple formats in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

Plays by Gordon Daviot (Daviot) New Online Books

Plays by Gordon Daviot (3 volumes, c1953-1954), by Gordon Daviot (multiple formats in Canada; NO US ACCESS)

A New Theory of Acute and Slow Continued Fevers (Cheyne) New Online Books

A New Theory of Acute and Slow Continued Fevers: Wherein, Beside The Appearance of Such, and The Manner of Their Cure, Occasionally, The Structure of The Glands, and The Manner of Laws of Secretion, The Operation of Purgative, Vomitive, and Mercurial Medicines, Are Mechanically Explained; To Which Is Prefix'd an Essay Concerning The Improvements of The Theory of Medicine (8th edition, corrected; London: Printed for W. Otridge, 1766), by George Cheyne (page images at NIH)

Nature's Assistant to the Restoration of Health In a Variety of Complaints (Hodson) New Online Books

Nature's Assistant to the Restoration of Health In a Variety of Complaints: To Which Is Added, an Address to Parents, Tutors, and Schoolmasters, With Advice to Young Men and Boys, Respecting a Destructive Habit of a Private Nature (13th edition; London: Printed by E. Hodson, 1794), by James Hodson (page images at NIH)

Nature's Assistant to the Restoration of Health; To Which is Added a Short Treatise on the Venereal Disease, Recommending a Safe, Easy, and Proper Mode of Treatment; Also, an Essay on Gleets, Seminal Weaknesses, and the Destructive Habit of Self-Pollution (Hodson) New Online Books

Nature's Assistant to the Restoration of Health; To Which is Added a Short Treatise on the Venereal Disease, Recommending a Safe, Easy, and Proper Mode of Treatment; Also, an Essay on Gleets, Seminal Weaknesses, and the Destructive Habit of Self-Pollution (6th edition; London: J. Matthews, 1789), by James Hodson (page images at NIH)

Nature's Assistant to the Restoration of Health; To Which is Added a Short Treatise on the Venereal Disease, Recommending a Safe, Easy, and Proper Mode of Treatment; Also, an Essay on Gleets, Seminal Weaknesses, and a Destructive Habit of a Private Nature (Hodson) New Online Books

Nature's Assistant to the Restoration of Health; To Which is Added a Short Treatise on the Venereal Disease, Recommending a Safe, Easy, and Proper Mode of Treatment; Also, an Essay on Gleets, Seminal Weaknesses, and a Destructive Habit of a Private Nature (11th edition; London: E. Hodson, 1791), by James Hodson (page images at NIH)

The New Dispensatory (Lewis) New Online Books

The New Dispensatory: The Whole Interspersed with Practical Cautions and Observations (sixth edition; London: Printed for F. Wingrave et al., ca. 1799), by William Lewis (page images at NIH)

A New Treatise on The Venereal Disease, Gleets, Seminal Weaknesses; The Dreadful Effects of Self-Pollution; and The Causes of Impotency, Directing Methods of Cure Established by Repeated Experience (Smyth) New Online Books

A New Treatise on The Venereal Disease, Gleets, Seminal Weaknesses; The Dreadful Effects of Self-Pollution; and The Causes of Impotency, Directing Methods of Cure Established by Repeated Experience (sixth edition; London: Printed for the author, 1771), by J. H. Smyth (page images at NIH)

Chief Joseph's Own Story (Joseph) New Online Books

Chief Joseph's Own Story (reprinted from the North American Review, April 1879, with additional material), by Nez Perc Chief Joseph, contrib. by Donald MacRae and William Hobart Hare (multiple formats at

The Conspiracy Trial for the Murder of the President, and the Attempt To Overthrow the Government by the Assassination of Its Principal Officers (Poore) New Online Books

The Conspiracy Trial for the Murder of the President, and the Attempt To Overthrow the Government by the Assassination of Its Principal Officers (3 volumes; Boston: J. E. Tilton and Co., 1865-1866), ed. by Benjamin Perley Poore (stable link)

The Frontier in American History (Turner) New Online Books

The Frontier in American History (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1920), by Frederick Jackson Turner (multiple formats at

Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of The Second Session of The Forty-Seventh Congress, With the Reports of the Heads of Departments and Selections from Accompanying Documents (Poore) New Online Books

Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of The Second Session of The Forty-Seventh Congress, With the Reports of the Heads of Departments and Selections from Accompanying Documents (Washington: GPO, 1882), ed. by Benjamin Perley Poore, contrib. by Chester Alan Arthur (multiple formats at

Quatre Lettres sur le Mexique (Brasseur de Bourbourg) New Online Books

Quatre Lettres sur le Mexique: Exposition Absolue du Systme Hiroglyphique Mexicain; La Fin de Pge de Pierre; poque Glaciaire Temporaire; Commencement De Pge de Bronze; Origines de la Civilisation Et des Religions de L'antiquit; (in French, with an English appendix by Rafinesque on the Lenape; Paris: F. Brachet; Mexico: Juan Buxo y Cia., 1868), by abb Brasseur de Bourbourg, contrib. by C. S. Rafinesque (stable link)

The American Nations (Rafinesque) New Online Books

The American Nations: or, Outlines of Their General History, Ancient and Modern (2 volumes; Philadelphia: C. S. Rafinesque, 1836), by C. S. Rafinesque (stable link)

A Lei do Ventre Livre (Ensaio de Historia Parlamentar) (Morais) New Online Books

A Lei do Ventre Livre (Ensaio de Historia Parlamentar) (in Portuguese; Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1917), by Evaristo de Morais (page images at HathiTrust; US access only)

The Bengal Settlement Manual, 1908 (Bengal ) New Online Books

The Bengal Settlement Manual, 1908 (Kolkata: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1909), by Bengal Revenue Department and H. McPherson (page images at HathiTrust; US access only)

The Indian Penal Code, as Originally Framed in 1837, With Notes (Indian Law Commission) New Online Books

The Indian Penal Code, as Originally Framed in 1837, With Notes (Chennai: Higginbotham, 1888), by Indian Law Commission, contrib. by Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay, J. M. Macleod, G. W. Anderson, F. Millett, C. H. Cameron, and D. Eliott (page images at HathiTrust; US access only)


The Dance Lesson, Edgar Degas, ca. 1879 The Lion of Chaeronea

The Dance Lesson, Edgar Degas, ca. 1879


If You Look for Money You are Likely To Get It: Report Highlights The Priorities of Media Executives Over the Next Five Years Editor & Publisher

The biggest challenge to media organisations is not posed by technology or declining revenue, but by the firms own inabiliaties to innovate, a study of nearly 250 media leaders from around the world found.

Francois Nel of the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries at University of Central Lancashire, and Coral Milburn-Curtis of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, analysed almost 250 responses from media executives in 68 countries to find out the priorities for investment in each organisation and compare them across the industry.


This Online Dashboard is Monitoring Russian Propaganda About the German Election Editor & Publisher

With the German election less than a week away, its clear that fake news while frequently targeting Chancellor Angela Merkel isnt really influencing the campaign. But that hasnt stopped Russian trolls and media outlets from trying.

A new project launched last week by the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) is tracking those attempts, which are increasingly aimed at bolstering right-wing populist groups like the Alternative for Germany party (AfD).


Sculpture of a seated girl, known as the Conservatori Girl.... The Lion of Chaeronea

Sculpture of a seated girl, known as the Conservatori Girl.  Roman copy of the Hadrianic period, possibly after a lost Greek original of the school of Lysippus.  Found in the temple of Minerva Medica in the Horti Liciniani, Rome; now in the Capitoline Museums.  Photo credit:  Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons.


Avoiding the Sugar Rush: Inside the BBCs Slow News Operation Editor & Publisher

In the last eight months, BBC News has undergone a major reprioritizing exercise focused on creating what the organization now calls slow news journalism.

Thats meant moving away from pursuing every incremental breaking news update toward publishing fewer but more thoroughly contextualized in-depth stories, as well as more short data visualization pieces.


"Thats what makes me sad: life is so different from books. I wish it were the same: clear, logical,..." The Lion of Chaeronea

Thats what makes me sad: life is so different from books. I wish it were the same: clear, logical, organized. Only it isnt.

- Pierrot le fou (1965), Dir. Jean-Luc Godard
(via wordsnquotes)


Quartz is Using Apples New AR Tech to Help People Understand Objects In The News on iPhones Editor & Publisher

Of all the emerging technologies that Apple has its eyes on, CEO Tim Cook has seemed particularly excited about augmented reality. Before long, many people will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you, Cook predicted at a tech conference last year.


In Mexico, It is the State, Not the Cartels, That Poses The Biggest Threat to Journalists Editor & Publisher

Marijose Gamboa has one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Shes a journalist in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the things she has endured for her work are comparable to the brutalities suffered by prisoners of war, including imprisonment, torture, and sexual assault.


Neil the Horse Rides Again The Paris Review

The 1980s was the decade of the black-and-white comic boomand the inevitable bust. The boom was started in part by three successful self-published comics: Kevin Eastman and Peter Lairds Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wendy and Richard Pinis Elfquest, and Dave Sims Cerebus the Aardvark. A comic-reading public that wanted something besides the same tired superhero formula or the sex-and-drugs heavy (and often misogynist) underground comics snapped them up. The black-and-white pages were cheaper to print than color, and soon new publishers with new titles were springing up like toadstools after a rainstorm.

At first it seemed as though any black-and-white comic book would sell (and at first they did), and there were some pretty bizarre but briefly successful books with titles, like Cold Blooded Chameleon Commandos or The Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos, riding on the armored coattails of Ninja Turtles, but along with the silliness came some good comics that are still with us, like Bob Burdens Flaming Carrot, Stan Sakais Usagi Yojimbo, Max Collins and Terry Beattys Ms. Tree, and Joshua Quagmires Cutey Bunny, and some good comics that unfortunately didnt last, like Bill Messner-Loebss Journey, and the subject of this essay.

In the midst of the hysteria of the black-and-white boom, along came Neil the Horse, tap dancing his way into the hearts of America. (Well, mine, anyway, and enough others to keep the comic going for fifteen issues.) Five parts Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, five parts Fred Astaire, and a hundred percent Arn Saba, the banana-chomping, rubber-legged equines comics were a refreshing change from the dark, grim and gritty, ultraviolent mainstream comics that seemed almost de rigueur during the eighties. His Art Decolooking characters sang and danced their way through some pretty wacky adventures: inspired by the manic adventures of Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck, along with a healthy dose of surrealism la Winsor McCays Little Nemo, Neil got caught in a photocopier, producing hundreds of Neil clones; he met Mr. Coffee Nerves and consumed a gallon of the stuff, with expected rubber-legged results, and he and his cigar-chomping pal, Soapy the Cat, went to Hell (not as a result of drinking all that coffee!)....


Facebook Gives, But Continues to Take More From Publishers Editor & Publisher

For all the steps Facebook has taken to support publishers, two new reports offer a stark reminder of whos really in charge. data shows that across its 2,500-site network, Facebook declined as a source of referral traffic to publishers, with Google surpassing the social network to become the biggest referrer.


Stacey Sedbrook Named VP of Digital at the Kansas City Star Editor & Publisher

The Kansas City Star has hired Stacey Sedbrook to the position of vice president of digital, in which she will oversee the companys efforts to increase digital revenue.

Sedbrook has 17 years of experience in sales, marketing and business development and for the last decade has been consulting with media and technology companies to build successful digital departments and sales teams



After Russian Facebook Ads, Democrats Seek New FEC Rules on Social Media Politics Editor & Publisher

House and Senate Democrats plan to send a letter to the Federal Election Commission this week asking them to consider new rules that would prevent foreigners from using online advertising platforms like Facebook and Twitter to influence voters.

The letter will likely be sent and made public on Wednesday, Daniel Jacobs a spokesperson for Rep. John Sarbanes, the chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, an initiative of House Democrats, told CNN.


Ev Williams Has Big Plans For Medium 3.0 Editor & Publisher

Ev Williams is in New York to have meetings. Hes meeting with writers to discuss producing original content for his Medium platform; hes meeting with editors about potential work with the company; and hes meeting with journalists like me to try and describe just what Medium is now. After the companys latest strategy shift away from ad revenue and toward individual subscriptions, he has a lot of talking to do.


USA TODAY NETWORK Launches The Wall Project Examining Life on the U.S.-Mexico Border Editor & Publisher

USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co, Inc., launched today The Wall: Unknown Stories, Unintended Consequences. This landmark multi-media report examines in unprecedented detail President Donald Trumps signature campaign promise to build a great wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It reveals the challenges and consequences, including a NETWORK investigation finding that building a wall in mostly wide-open Texas could require disrupting or seizing nearly 5,000 individual parcels of property.

This immersive experience encompasses virtual reality, bots, aerial and 360-degree video, documentaries, photos, podcasts, LiDAR data, exclusive reporting and an upcoming long-form film. The Wall brings the stories of the region to life in a way never seen before. The combined effort of more than 30 reporters, photographers and videographers from NETWORK newsrooms along the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas provides a comprehensive understanding of the proposed border wall, those who will be affected, and all of the issues surrounding it. This project is led by The Arizona Republic and other newsrooms along the border where journalists have personal connections and decades of experience covering the topic.

NETWORK journalists flew every mile of the border in a helicopter to film and map the line, to document the existing fences and create a permanent record of what is there before any new wall construction begins. For the first time ever, people will be able to view the entire border in high definition video, where towns and homes abut the border, where fences begin and end, and the sometimes hundreds of miles of gaps in between.

Working with NETWORK producers, developers and emerging tech teams, the journalists interpreted the meaning and consequences of the proposed border wall in formats that pushed the boundaries of technology. More than a dozen stories and documentary-style features take viewers inside the report. An interactive map lets users see every foot of the NETWORKs end-to-end flight of the border. Ten podcasts share the journalists behind-the-scenes experiences, and allow listeners to launch chatbots for more information. A Facebook Show page will house all 13 documentaries. And a special presentation in virtual reality lets users step inside the stories and stand at locations along the border itself.

Weve got the sources, weve done the homework and we understand the issues. Weve examined the border from thousands of feet in the air and from a tunnel 70 feet underground. Weve roamed the ocean and desert with Border Patrol agents and the hills with armed vigilantes. Weve learned something new at every turn, said Nicole Carroll, Vice President/News and Editor of The Arizona Republic.

For the VR experience, the NETWORK team collected LiDAR data at eight hotspots along the border; designers then used photogrammetry technology to create a virtual represen...


Portrait of a Youth in an Embroidered Vest (Portrait of Zamor),... The Lion of Chaeronea

Portrait of a Youth in an Embroidered Vest (Portrait of Zamor), Marie-Victoire Lemoine, 1785


The Surprising History (and Future) of Paperweights The Paris Review

Illustration by Ellis Rosen

On a Friday night this spring, I reported to the inaugural show at Fisher Parrish Gallery, in Bushwick. Some awfully cool looking folks were packed into the small white space. The table was laid with 117 new examples of paperweights. Almost none of them resembled the office accoutrement of last century, when open windows and fans sent paper sailing through reeking cigarette fog. These were objet dart. They ranged from the purely ironic (a furry outgrowth) to the purely beautiful (chain links encrusted in sherbet crystals). Many were ineffable abstracts, and a few were just satisfying (animal figurines drilled into each other). My life doesnt justify a paperweight, a girlfriend remarked. My life isnt settled enough. You dont buy one until you think youre not going to move.

Paperweights had never struck me as markers of stability. But a month later, when I was laid off from the legacy media company where I worked for a print magazine, I surveyed my desk, picked up a stack of our branded notepads and a handle of whiskey and thought, At least I dont have to lug no paperweight.  

Then Saturday came without Saturdays feel. In a vintage shop, I drifted from taxidermy pheasants to a shelf staged with dusted curio, and there was a Murano blown-glass paperweight. At its center, the softball-size bubble had a clear tubular ring, inside of which was a clear finial shape from which streaks of red sprayed in arches at 360 degrees. The thing was maybe five pounds? My fianc found me cradling it to my heart. Youre going to bring that home, arent you, he said, meaning: Did my foolhardy troth to paper in the age of new media know no bounds? The paperweight seemed to englobe our opposed perspectives: he thought it looked like a nasty vortex; I thought it looked like a wine fountain.

In 1495, a historian from Venice remarked, But consider to whom did it occur to include in a little ball all the sorts of flowers which clothe the meadow in Spring. He was referring to the glasswork techniques the Romans had picked up from the Egyptians. The results were not paperweights, not least because the bottoms had not yet been shaved flat to prevent rolling. That was an evolution Paul Holliste...

Wednesday, 20 September


The Little Shoppe of Negativity The Paris Review


Chalk it up to synchronicity, but within an hour I opened a package in my mailbox and found a patch I ordered for my baseball cap that says, BECAUSE FUCK YOU, THATS WHY. Then I drove half a mile into town and saw a new store about to open. It was called the Little Shoppe of Positivity. I wanted to throw a brick through the window.

I have no idea what kind of merchandise they will carry in the Little Shoppe of Positivity, so I asked some friends having coffee at that caf next door what a positivity shoppe would sell. All kinds of angel paraphernalia I would imagine, one said. Needlepoint pillows with positive thoughts, said another. I dont know, but every time I drive by it I feel happy, said a third. Now I needed a second brick. 

My basic Eeyore-like personality cringes at a shop full of geegaws and posters, key rings and statuettes demanding that I look on the sunny side of life. I remember the first time I came face-to-face with enforced positivity. It was the seventies and the yellow smiley face was all the rage. It was on buttons, coffee mugs, decals, and bumper stickers. It went along with the salutation Have a Nice Day. The seventies teemed with false positivity. The radio oozed love songs that were buoyant and cheerful, happy bright primary colors tainted clothing, and cute was a high compliment. Like a vampire exposed to the sun, I cringed in the face of this blinding optimism. At least I never ran barefoot along a beach with a kite, wore eyeglasses with pink lenses, and I certainly never walked around town bearing flowers and wearing a gauzy dress that fluttered in the breeze.

I liked the Beatles when I first heard them on the radio. I did not like them when I saw them in the movies. On the big screen they were squishy cute (especially Paul) and always seemed to be skipping aimlessly around with open Union Jack umbrellas or making silly faces at dour train conductors just to be naughty. I much preferred the Rolling Stones, who were the opposite of cute. Their sullen postures and eat shit expressions were far more appealing to me. My favorite was Brian Jones, who, of course, would be dead first.

It was around this time during the seventies when I became fascinated with astrology. Everyone liked astrology back then: you c...


365 Challenge: Day 192 Elements This Is My Truth Now

Elements: experiencing all four of them on the trip today: earth, air, water, and fire


Todays 365 Daily Challenge word is elements because on this third day of the vacation, I see all four of them: (1) earth in the tree and greenery, (2) air in the wind blowing the Spanish moss, (3) water in the lake in the background and (4) fire in the hickory smell in the air all around. And I was also completely in my element in this beautiful arboretum at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina. We spent a few hours this morning at this lovely place, where you can see tons of pictures below, or also on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Afterwards, we drove to Wrightsville Beach, which was exactly like the seaside town I wanted to visit. Lunch at the Oceanic right on the beach while we watched surfers crash, bathers play on the sand and people mulling about the small island space.

We drove three hours this afternoon to Chapel Hill and checked in at the Siena Hotel, which is gorgeous. More on that in tomorrows post. We toured UNC Chapel Hill and are now back at the hotel for a short break before going out to dinner and a few bars this evening. Or maybe Ill enroll in a Masters program and start auditing classes. Or possibly find a party at one of the fraternities or sororities, as we saw at least ten houses the size of mansions. makes me...


Digital Publishing: Digital Tools Available Now to Add Power and Simplify Every Journalists Job Editor & Publisher

Technology has done a lot to harm newspapers in recent years, but in its wake of disruption it has left behind a host of powerful tools that journalists 15 years ago couldnt even have imagined using.

The sheer amount of tech-sounding names and promising new ventures can easily make it overwhelming for the average newsroom employee to dive in, especially considering the high rate of failure when it comes to digital news innovation. I mean, do your bosses even care about Tumblr anymore?

Among the most popular columns Ive written for Editor & Publisher was a simple overview of five digital tools that I use often that arent called Facebook or Tweetdeck. Im constantly getting notes from reporters and producers at organizations across the country tipping me off to cool apps and interesting tools that I never would have come across otherwise.

So, think of this months column as my attempt to pay it forward. In fact, I still use two tools I gave a spotlight to in my previous column on nearly a daily basis, and they are worth touting again.

The first is Call Recorder, a simple paid app for the Mac (sorry PC users) that allows incoming calls via Skype to be recorded with a click of the button. It also allows you to easily convert the audio of the calls to MP3 and convert them to internet-ready movies, allowing reporters to include an engaging bit of multimedia in their stories very easily.

The second is oTranscribe. So far, Ive been unwilling to spring for a paid program that transcribes audio for me, but oTranscribe is the next best thing. Basically its a free website where you upload your sound file and can use easy shortcut keys to pause, rewind or slow down the audio while you transcribe on a single web tab.

Here are four other tools (well, three tools and a hack) that have been recommended to me by journalists over the past year that I now use regularly when reporting. I hope...


Introduction to the New Mainframe (Ebbers) New Online Books

Introduction to the New Mainframe: Networking (Poughkeepsie, NY: IBM International Technical Support Organization, c2006), by Mike Ebbers, Christopher Hastings, Matt Nuttall, and Micky Reichenberg (PDF at

Introduction to the New Mainframe (Weller) New Online Books

Introduction to the New Mainframe: Security (Poughkeepsie, NY: IBM International Technical Support Organization, 2007), by Rica Weller, Ross Clements, Ken Dugdale, Per Fremstad, Helmut Hellner, Olegario Hernandez, William C. Johnston, Patrick Kappeler, Linda Kochersberger, Abey Tedla, Jeff Thompson, and Ashwin Venkatraman (PDF at

Introduction to the New Mainframe (Ebbers) New Online Books

Introduction to the New Mainframe: z/OS Basics (third edition; Poughkeepsie, NY: IBM International Technical Support Organization, 2011), by Mike Ebbers, John Kettner, Wayne O'Brien, and Bill Ogden (PDF at

At Our Own Peril (Freier) New Online Books

At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press, 2017), by Nathan Freier, Christopher M. Bado, Christopher J. Bolan, Robert S. Hume, and J. Matthew Lissner (multiple formats with commentary at Army War College)

Introduction to the New Mainframe (Ebbers) New Online Books

Introduction to the New Mainframe: Large-Scale Commercial Computing (Poughkeepsie, NY: IBM International Technical Support Organization, c2006), by Mike Ebbers, Frank Byrne, Pilar Gonzalez Abrados, Martin Rodney, and Joe Veilleux (stable link)


Haere mai (Come Here), Paul Gauguin, 1891 The Lion of Chaeronea

Haere mai (Come Here), Paul Gauguin, 1891


Appeals Court: Rolling Stone Must Face Defamation Lawsuit Over Rape Story Editor & Publisher

The 2nd Circuit rules two UVA fraternity members have plausibly made claims how the story was of and concerning them while also accepting a group defamation theory.
In unfortunate timing for Jann Wenner, who just put Rolling Stone up for sale, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a defamation lawsuit over the magazines infamous story about the gang rape of a freshman identified as Jackie at a University of Virginia campus fraternity.


University of Louisville Pulls Funding From Student Newspaper Editor & Publisher

The University of Louisville could soon be the only college in the Atlantic Coast Conference without a campus newspaper.

Amid the universitys $48-million budget shortfall, school officials told the student journalism staff they would cease funding for the independent student newspaper, the Louisville Cardinal, by the end of the 2018 spring semester.


Helios as Personification of Midday, Anton Raphael Mengs, 1765 The Lion of Chaeronea

Helios as Personification of Midday, Anton Raphael Mengs, 1765


How Amazon is Becoming the Third Force in Advertising, Making the Duopoly an Oligopoly Editor & Publisher

As Amazon wields a growing power as a search engine, it is also becoming a more compelling advertising platform and, as a result, is posing the first real challenge to Google and Facebook, which have long commanded digital advertising budgets virtually unopposed. Of the two, Google initially stands to lose more, but as Amazons ad offerings expand, Facebook could also bleed ad dollars.


BuzzFeed News Embraces Video, Skips the Pivot Editor & Publisher

Of all the buzzy phrases that define modern journalism, pivot to video is one of the few that still has a bite (unlike, say fake news). And it should. Weve seen decisions to stop doing original reporting and start producing commodified slideshows ricochet through the industry.


Media in the Middle East: A New Study Shows How the Arab World Gets and Shares Digital News Editor & Publisher

Arab nationals are more likely than Americans to get news from social media, and younger Arabs are more likely to trust it than their older compatriots.

These are some of the findings from the fifth annual Media Use in the Middle East survey conducted by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). The studies, which were launched in 2013 to chart peoples media use and involve more than 7,000 subjects, are the most extensive surveys of their kind and among the few such regional longitudinal studies in the world.


4 33: On Listening to the Silence The Paris Review


About a month ago, at the Museum of Modern Art, I attended a performance of John Cages 433. Id read about its famous silence, but because Id never sat in a theater and experienced that silence, all I had were expectations. I expected the pianist to be a man, which is what expectations do, they give you a picture of what will happen before it happens, and it turned out the performer was a violinist. He took, as they say, the stage, concentrating his thoughts, lifting his instrument, and with his bow not quite touching the strings of his violin, the music began. Almost immediately a subway train, beneath the streets of midtown, rumbled in the theater, the volume increasing and then decreasing, and the indeterminacy Cage had talked about, because the ears cant shut themselves, was continuous, one thing after another, and I could hear voices behind what seemed like a curtain but was probably a wall, a womans voice, almost plaintive, and indeterminacy, which means not exactly known or expected, was what Id come to hear. I was craning my ears, or pricking up my ears, or opening the metaphorical doors of hearing, and we dont have a word for what the mind does, the way it turns from object to object, turning from the moment in front of it to another moment, to a past or a future, and having heard the subway sounds and the voices behind the wall, I expected to hear a candy wrapper being opened, the crinkling cellophane echoing through the audience like music, or music, but there was no cellophane wrapper. But in thinking about the cellophane wrapper I was hearing the music, which was part of the lets-make-art-out-of-anything spirit that was in the air in 1952, when Cage composed 433. And the fact that there was no candy wrapper, combined with the realization that, in thinking of one I formed a picture of one, was like waking up from a dream, knowing Id been somewhere else and now I was here and the violinist was perfectly still, standing on the stage, looking like any musician concentrating on the music he was making, and the music was swirling in the air like thought, like seeing or smelling, and I say thought because whatever we hear is heard in the brain. The vibrations on the eardrum sends signals to the b...


What iOS 11 Means for News Publishers and Readers Editor & Publisher

Apples new iOS 11 operating system, set for release today, will lead to several changes in how readers consume news, be it through podcasts, Apple News, or the Web. It also brings tweaks to privacy and advertising guidelines that have implications for the news business.


Angee Norman Named General Manager/Publisher of the Bastrop Daily Enterprise Editor & Publisher

After one week on the job, we are happy to announce Angee Norman as The Bastrop Daily Enterprises new General Manager/Publisher.

Teresa Hicks, SVP of Gatehouse Media, Southeast Arkansas, visited the Bastrop Enterprise last week to announce how pleased she was that Angee was taking over as GM of the Bastrop office.


Type Writing: An Interview with Jim Shepard The Paris Review


Jim Shepard is always funny in conversation, but never more so than when hes imparting dark musings about the future of the country or about human nature in general. And he can often be found musing about these dark things, for he is, as he puts it, resourcefully pessimistic. As evidence, he cites the title of his just-released book, The Tunnel at the End of the Light: Essays on Movies and Politics. Many of us nursing the bitter cocktail that is the Trump administration are familiar with this sentiment, but Shepards book has been decades in the making. There has always been something to despair about, he announces jovially: The title reflects the sinking sense Ive had following American politics since the late 1960s. Its been an ongoing cycle of progressive and thoughtful people saying, Well, this is a new low, but we have something to look forward toand then hitting a new low after that. 

An award-winning, seven-time novelist and professor of English and film studies at Williams College, Shepard has studied certain iconic, influential American movies, from Casablanca to Goodfellas to Schindlers Listalong with what theyre selling usfor clues as to why this country keeps finding itself in the soul-crushing cycle of Icarus highs and lows. They provide, he concludes, a constructive road map. He pulled his books title from an anecdote about the 1974 noir film Chinatown, in which scriptwriter Robert Towne told director Roman Polanski that the dark ending was like the tunnel at the end of the lightmuch like the circumstances contributing to the dj-vu political landscape Shepard sees now. He and I spoke last week about how movies both reflect and generate the circumstances that made the presidency of a creature like Donald J. Trump possible in the first place.


So are we doomed forever to the despair-redemption political cycle you describe? I mean, how much lower can we go?


Well, its generated by a pretty toxic combination...


Gelede headdress of the Yoruba people, from the town of Igbesa... The Lion of Chaeronea

Gelede headdress of the Yoruba people, from the town of Igbesa in the Awori region of present-day Nigeria.  Artist unknown; 1930s.  Now in the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The State of Data Journalism in 2017 Editor & Publisher

Data journalism has been a big focus for us at the Google News Lab over the past three yearsin building tools, creating content and sharing data with the data journalism community. We wanted to see if were taking the right approach: how big is data journalism, what challenges do data journalists face and how is it going to change?


We Are Not Going to Give Up: German Publishers Continue War with Ad Blockers Editor & Publisher

While ad blocking has receded as the biggest issues facing publishers, German heavyweight publishers Axel Springer and Spiegel Online continue to focus on combating it.

German publishers have been locked in legal battles with the owner of Adblock Plus, Eyeo, for years. Last week, German courts concluded Eyeo was a legal vendor, dealing a blow to media groups ProSiebenSat.1, RTL and Sddeutsche Zeitung, which sought to ban it.


What Vox Learned from Building Groups and Creating Communities on Facebook Editor & Publisher

In November 2016, when it became clear the future of the Affordable Care Act was in doubt, journalist Sarah Kliff, and members of Voxs social team wanted to build a community for Americans most impacted by a possible repeal of the law. So they started the Facebook group Whats Next? A Community for Obamacare Enrollees by Vox.

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