Category Archives: TIL

Word of the Day: 100 Words Every Expert Author Should Know

Or basically 100 words EVERYONE should know whether they’re an expert or not.

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TIL: Thriftbooks.com

On today’s episode of Today I (re)Learned…

thriftbooks

Click me! 😀

So this is a thing.

I’m not sure if anyone else knew about, but I figured… how could I not share?

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I knew about this site a while back, but never really… caught on to it? I dunno. Plus also, I guess I sorta forgot? /fail

Anyway, YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT, because… I mean… come on! When do we NOT need cheap books? Amirite?

EVENT UPDATE: Did You Know? Today is Prime Day on Amazon! (July 15th)

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Thought I’d let those of you who have Amazon Prime Membership know that today is Prime Day!! For today only, you can get better-than-Black Friday-like deals on… well.. lots of stuff! Books, electronics, kindles — you name it!

The deals are only available to Prime Members, however – so if you know someone who’s got Prime, pass along the news! You never know who’s day you just might make. 😉

I decided to splurge on some books I’ve been meaning to get, and also on a couple electronics that broken down a billion years ago that I’ve been making due with since. Great time to splurge on gifts for friends, family, loved ones, and – of course – yourself!

So get to it! Click on the banner above or right here!

TIL: This Father And Son Duo Made The Most Insane Bookshelves

On this episode of TODAY I LEARNED

INSANE DIY BOOKSHELVES!

I actually found out about this some time in the week. Have you heard about this Father and Son duo who made these crazy gorgeous bookshelves?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the design. Not entirely sure how practical it would be in actual use… AKA if books could really fit in there comfortably, etc, etc… But it looks like it would be a great optical illusion in any case.

Probably worth the effort of figuring out how to slide your books in and out. Ha ha! 😛

See how to make the amazing bookshelves this father and son made here: Bookshelves

TIL – The Book As An Art Form… Airan Kang’s “Luminous Words”

On another edition of Today I Learned, I must confess – I’ve been neglecting Tumblr for quite some time. Mostly because I was getting absolutely nothing done and actually WANTED to be productive (although I was finding all sorts of fantastic, asinine, artful, intuitive, funny, HILARIOUS, erotic, HYPER erotic, newsworthy and creative things on my dash).

Now I know this doesn’t seem like something that important to anyone, but it is to me. Tumblr, strange as it sounds, has been a wealth of knowledge, resources, and networking for me over the years and I don’t know what I would have done without it. That is why my disappearance from it has actually effected me somewhat negatively. (I swear I had NO IDEA what’s been happening in the world as of late, since I rarely actually sit down and watch the news. That’s what Tumblr was for.)

However I’ve rectified this and – sadly? happily? – returned to my old ways earlier this week. As to be expected, I found all sorts of lovelies.

One of them was this:

Luminous Words: Glowing Books by Airan Kang

South Korean artist Airan Kang creates striking illuminated books or “electronically luminescent sculptures cast from transparent synthetic resin” for her Luminous Words series.

The books are currently on exhibition at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York. digital lighting books

“Featuring an ambitious installation of over one hundred digital lighting books and new LED paintings, Luminous Words furthers Kang’s exploration into the ontology and evolution of the book as a source of knowledge in the digital era.
”

[SOURCE]


I swear, without Tumblr I miss out on all the important things of life. *has already planned to go see the exhibit before it’s gone*

So for all you Yorkers out there or those looking for someplace in the New York area to go, you might want to check it out a the Bryce website. The exhibit opens May 7th and lasts until June 13th.

TIL – Did you know you can read the entire Animorphs series online right now?

EDIT – 1.19.16: 

It appears the RAF site has moments when the links work, and moments when they do not. A few days ago, I went to the site and the links were working and allowed download. Today, they do not, and I get this message:

“As per Scholastic’s demands, Richard’s Animorphs Forum can no longer sanction the distribution of Scholastic eBooks (including Animorphs, Everworld, Remnants and Gone), nor the implied distribution through other means.”

This probably means the links might be down permanently. Understand, I have no control over this. I am not the owner of RAF, nor do I have anything to do with it. I’m just distributing information to whoever may have use of it. Hopefully, you Animorph fans were able to join in on the fun and re-read (or read for the first time) this marvelous series still so dear to my heart.

 

ORIGINAL POST:

CLICK HERE IF YOU’RE INTERESTED!

On today’s episode of TIL, I just found out about this tidbit of information. Also there seems to be a GREAT ANIMORPHS RE-READ going on this year, which is the coolest thing ever known to man! Absolutely excited beyond all words. Everyone should have a little Animorphs in their lives. :3 My life was never the same after reading these books when I was little (and even older *EHEM*).

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me take the time to enlighten you to the wonders of this delightful series:

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The Animorphs series (#1-54)
by K. A. Applegate

Publisher: Scholastic Publishing
Publication Date: June 1996–May 2001
Format: Paperback & Hardcover
Pages: books est. 150+ pages each
Genre: War, Love, Science Fiction, Thriller,
Fantasy, PTSD, Effects of War & Violence
On Youth, Shapeshifters, Aliens, Alien
Technology, Animals, Survivors, Friendship,
Betrayal, Alien Takeover, Dehumanization,
Nothing And No One Is Who Or What
They Seem, Dying World, Nature, Family,
Horror, Sanity, Morality, Leadership,
Innocence and Innocence Lost, Freedom,
Growing Up
Age/Audience: Middle Grade / Teen / YA
# of Books in Series: 54
Companion Books: Animorphs Chronicles (4)
Companion Books
: Megamorphs (4)
Gamebooks: Alternamorphs (2)

SUMMARY

(synopsis from Publisher)

The story revolves around five humans, Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias, and one alien, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (nicknamed Ax), who obtain the ability to morph into any animal they touch. Naming themselves “Animorphs” (a portmanteau of “animal morphers”) they use their ability to battle a secret alien infiltration of Earth by a race called the Yeerks. The Yeerks are a parasitic race of aliens resembling large slugs that take humans as a host by entering and merging with their brain through the ear canal. The Animorphs fight as a guerilla force against the Yeerks, led by Visser Three, and their program to take over the human race. Morphing into animals allows them to battle the various armies of aliens that the Yeerks use, but it also protects their identities. As far as the Yeerks know, only Andalites like Ax have the ability to morph, and if they knew that the Animorphs were mostly human they would be able to easily find out who they are. Protecting their identities becomes more and more difficult as the series goes on because though someone with the ability to morph can change into any animal that they touch, they can only stay in a morph for two hours or they will permanently become that animal. Throughout the series, we see how the war affects the characters in different ways, mentally and physically.


And for more goodies, check out these fascinating Animorph related sites:

The Morphing Science of Animorphs

The Great Animorphs ReRead

Which Animorph Would Win the Hunger Games?

Things To Remember About Animorphs

Why Animorphs is possibly the greatest sci-fi story ever told:
And here’s a excerpt:

But you can’t judge a book by its cover, dammit!

In actuality, the grave seriousness of Animorphs is what stands out most in my memories. This isn’t 10,000 pages of kids turning into butterflies. It’s a 10,000 page chronicling of war, and the central themes of the series are appropriately aligned with that subject matter. Once you’ve suspended your disbelief and firmly settled yourself into the bizarre sci-fi nature of the material, what you’ve got is five teenagers who struggle with things like dehumanization, the responsibility or leadership, sanity, insanity and morality. It is told with the horror of actual war, where the battle is not only physical, but mental as well. Is it right to kill unarmed enemies? Is it right to ask a team member and friend to carry out a dangerous mission? Is it right to retreat, to continue, to do anything?

Horrible things happen with surprising frequency in this series. Characters you’ve grown attached to have mental break-downs, crumble under the pressure, cease to be heroes. In fact, a lot of this series serves to debunk childish notions of battle and war as being something magnificent and heroic. The battles that are fought are not great feats or victories, but rather a series of jumbled, confusing actions that leave regret and sickness in the hearts of those who fought. Each decision, whether in the heat of battle or for the greater good, comes later to haunt the character who made it, and they forever feel the weight of their actions and their own short-comings.

And here’s another:

Adapt This: KA Applegate’s Animorphs Series.  Yes, Again.

Animorphs‘ moral universe was also a lot more sophisticated than non-readers might expect. Book 1 introduced both the wicked Yeerks (a.k.a. body-snatching slugs) and the noble Andalites (a race of centaur-esque aliens who led the fight against the Yeerks throughout the rest of the galaxy). Later books, though, proved that all Yeerks weren’t exactly villains, and all Andalites weren’t exactly heroes.

Sure, Yeerks tended to be bloodthirsty and tyrannical — but some were sympathetic and pacifistic. And though all were parasites, they didn’t invade the brains of other species out of malice; it was simply what they had evolved to do. (“How many pigs and cows and chickens and sheep do you kill each year to survive?” a Yeerk tells Animorph Cassie in book 19. “You think being a predator is morally superior to being a parasite? At least the host bodies we take remain alive. We don’t kill them, cut them into pieces, and grill them over a charcoal fire in our backyards.”) The Andalites, meanwhile, revealed themselves to be a cold, arrogant race of warriors who had no qualms about waging total war — and wiping out innocents for the sake of the greater good.

All that, and I haven’t even mentioned Rachel — the Animorph who gradually transformed from a carefree, popular gymnast to a cruel, adrenaline-addicted, largely remorseless killing machine. It’s mind-boggling that these books were meant for kids reading at a fifth-grade level.


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Companion books

 

TIL : Have you ever been to a library sale?

On this week’s episode of TODAY I LEARNED

Ever wished you could get used or brand new books for killer deals but had no idea where to go to physically find them?

Well look no further!

Thanks to fellow blogger John Guillen, I’ve learned that there’s a website for that! (Sorry. No apps yet, I don’t think.) It’s called Book Sale Finder, and it basically lets you know when library sales are happening all over the US and Canada! You can search by state and find when libraries are having sales and at what prices you’d expect to see.

As per usual, my local library is doing absolutely nothing to help me out, but hopefully you might have better luck with yours! 🙂

[TIL/Reblog of an article about Jay Walker’s Personal Library] Take a load of this place!

Today I learned a little (make that A LOT) about a particular private library in a particular Connecticut home. Which – by the way – I am totally going to go visit at some point in time in the near future because homgggggggg

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Jay Walker calls it “The Library of the History of Human Imagination” and I can honestly see why.

But since I couldn’t possibly summarize the enormity of this library better than this writer already did, here’s a look into Jay Walker’s personal library (and the article to go along with it):


 

Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker’s Library

From King James to James Bond, Chaucer to Sputnik, a personal library like no other.
Photo: Andrew Moore

The View From Above Looming over the library is an original Sputnik 1 satellite, one of several backups the Soviets built. At far left is a model of NASA’s experimental X-29 jet, with forward-swept wings. “It’s the first plane that a pilot can’t fly—only computers can handle it,” Walker says. On the top of the center shelves are “scholar’s rocks,” natural formations believed by the Chinese to spur contemplation. Behind the rocks is a 15-foot-long model of the Saturn V rocket.

Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker’s library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects—on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor—the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer … is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you—a 1665Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy.

CONTINUE READING AT WIRED.COM –>

TIL: Literally Chaining Books To Your Bookcase and Walls…

On TIL…

Medieval Libraries Developed A Crude GPS System To Locate Books

“It wasn’t easy to find a specific book on library shelves in the Middle Ages. The spine title had not yet been invented, and the books weren’t published in standard sizes. But readers didn’t have to spend hours searching, thanks to an ingenious system that made use of concepts similar to modern GPS.”

CLICK TO CONTINUE READING ARTICLE →


Can we just take a minute to appreciate the evolution of our book cataloging systems? Because… HOLY CRAP. Chaining your books to their shelves is taking “I never loan out books. EVER.” to a WHOLE new extreme.

It’s HOW MANY PAGES?!

Today I Learned that someone actually took the time to compare the word count of famous books, and it’s FANTASTIC.

This infographic was created by the design team at Mediaworks agency on behalf of Cartridge Discount and goes through the word counts of many famous books, novellas, poems, and plays throughout literary history.

For those who would like to see each individual section you can check out the album here: