Archive for March, 2014

Disappearing bookstores

March 29, 2014

A NYT piece on the 26th, “Literary City, Bookstore Desert: Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan” by Julie Bosmanmarch”. Highlights:

Rising rents in Manhattan have forced out many retailers, from pizza joints to flower shops. But the rapidly escalating cost of doing business there is also driving out bookstores, threatening the city’s sense of self as the center of the literary universe, the home of the publishing industry and a place that lures and nurtures authors and avid readers.

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m working in a field that’s disappearing right under my feet,” said the biographer and historian Robert Caro, who is a lifelong New Yorker.

The Rizzoli Bookstore was recently told that it would be forced to leave its grand space on 57th Street because the owners decided that the building would be demolished.

Oh my, Rizzoli, a beloved monument to books.

Where do you go now to look at, handle, and sample physical books? (I can recommend an excellent bookstore in Perry NY, but that’s out of the way for most readers here.)

Bellis perennis

March 29, 2014

From Aric Olnes (taking a break from posting artwork about jurisdictions that have recognized same-sex marriages), this nice drawing of Bellis perennis:

(#1)

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It was the best of sentences …

March 29, 2014

On NPR on the 26th, a piece about memorable sentences, from The American Scholar:

Have you ever had a sentence stop you in your tracks? Editors at The American Scholar magazine have put out their list of the “Ten Best Sentences” in fiction and nonfiction. Associate editor Margaret Foster says the inspiration came from water cooler talk around the office.

Examples from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, James Joyce, Jane Austen, and Truman Capote, plus an interesting collection of suggestions by commenters.

Comics and music

March 29, 2014

A Get Fuzzy cartoon, passed on by Billy Green on Facebook:

 

Two forms of name play here: a POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) combining the artist formerly known as Prince (the musician) and Prince Valiant (the comics character); and then a play on the naming formula X and the Y(s) for musical groups (Prince and the Revolution, etc.), giving the groanworthy  O.J. and the Simpsons (combining O.J. Simpson and the Simpsons animated cartoon). Again, huge amounts of sociocultural knowledge required.

Pun time

March 29, 2014

Passed on by Rod Williams on Facebook, this image from Radio Nova 100

(#1)

A pair of interlocked puns: Fleetwod Macchiato, a POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) combining Fleetwood Mac and macchiato, plus the allusion to Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” (from the Rumours album) in the form Foam your own way. Impressive: easy if you have the sociocultural knowledge, but impenetrable otherwise. (Another piece of cleverness I doubt my 10-year-old grand-daughter would get.)

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OBH roundup

March 28, 2014

It started with this One Big Happy cartoon, clipped from a newspaper and sent to me by Benita Bendon Campbell:

(#1)

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A diner and taco sauce

March 28, 2014

Today’s Zippy unites two of the strip’s preoccupations, diners and taco sauce:

(#1)

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A Zippy and a Pearls

March 27, 2014

Today’s cartoon crop: a crazed Zippy and a very silly Pearls Before Swine:

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Two Bizarros and two New Yorkers

March 26, 2014

Fropm the recent comics crop, two Bizarros (one old, one new) and (via Arne Adolfsen) two recent New Yorker cartoons, a Roz Chast and a Tom Cheney,

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Food names

March 25, 2014

A continuing story. The current chapter: a WSJ piece on the 24th, “What’s More American Than Parmesan Cheese?: Plenty, according to the European Union. And its complaints could scuttle a trans-Atlantic trade deal” by Brian M. Carney:

More than half the members of the U.S. Senate rose in defense of American dairy last week, in what could be a sign of how hard it will be to forge a comprehensive trans-Atlantic trade deal.

The trouble comes from the European Union’s rules concerning “protected designations of origin” (PDO) and “protected geographical indications (PGI).” EU law allows producers of many foods —from Parmesan cheese to prosciutto — to apply for legal protection for the names of their products.

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