Links for 2010-01-31

  • He's a cop, with an axe. His partner is a cop with a flute-- no, a dinosaur soldier-- no, an avocado. Can you tell this was written by a five-year-old?
  • "Speaking as both a reader and a writer, this sucks. I do not pretend to know what the ideal price point for an e-book might be (though my pocketbook has its own opinions -- I don't mind paying a higher price for an e-book that in its hardcopy form is fresh on the shelves, but I don't want to still be paying that premium price for timeliness a year or so later), and I don't know what the final ideal e-book reader is going to be, either (though again, I have opinions -- I favor an e-book format that is platform-independent) -- but my God, why is it that when publishers and booksellers decide to engage in all-out war, it's always the writers who end up being Belgium?"
  • Tips on experimental design, data analysis, and presentation technique for kids working on science fair projects. Many undergraduate students and some graduate students would also benefit from reading this.
  • "Who are the people downloading these books? How are they doing it and where is it happening? And, perhaps most critical for the publishing industry, why are people deciding to download books and why now? I decided to find out, and after a few hours of searching ... I found, on an online forum focused on sharing books via BitTorrent, someone willing to talk.

    He lives in the Midwest, he's in his mid-30s and is a computer programmer by trade. By some measures, he's the publishing industry's ideal customer, an avid reader who buys dozens of books a year and enthusiastically recommends his favorites to friends. But he's also uploaded hundreds of books to file sharing sites and he's downloaded thousands. We discussed his file sharing activity over the course of a weekend, via email, and in his answers lie a critical challenge facing the publishing industry: how to quash the emerging piracy threat without alienating their most enthusiastic customers."


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Here's another link to a site that your readers might enjoy during 2010

Celebrate Thomas Edison's Birthday with a visit to his "invention factory" in West Orange NJ.

MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids (
is a series of free educational video pod casts is directed at kids ages 7-12. Each three-minute episode includes links to fun websites, a list of recommended books and a Learning Corner of questions and extended activities about the topic.

On February 1, there's a show about Thomas Edison filmed at the new Thomas Edison Museum in West Orange New Jersey. And later in February, there is an episode on how to prepare for your school science fair.